National President of BJP Amit Shah is looking for a bungalow in Jaipur for a long stay before crucial assembly elections in December 2018. ‘Ram Kutir’ in Vaishali Nagar, sources say, may again become vortex of BJP politics. But big question is that whether three month long stay of Amit Shah will be able to do the magic in Rajasthan?
Old horses of BJP are being resurrected and being promised that Vasundhara Raje would not have any say in ticket distribution and in next government. But without Vasundhara Raje where BJP stands politically in Rajasthan is also a puzzle for them. Modi’s BJP and Vasundhara Raje have become evil necessities for each other for the time being. While on the other hand Congress, which is seeing Rajasthan as a cakewalk, need to act fast before it is too late.
The national trends emerging from where BJP has won elections in recent past clearly shows that polarization of Hindu votes is the core strategy employed successively and successfully by Team Amit Shah. The surge of Hindu polarization followed by ensuring polling through ‘panna pramukh’ has pocketed seats for BJP while increased polling percentage sky rocketed its vote share result in chest thumping by its leadership.
Trends are clear and cues are visible for BJP’s Rajasthan strategy. Polarization of hindu votes is easiest strategy to implement in Rajasthan. Vasundhara Raje’s regime has seen lynching of Pahlu Khan, Zafar Khan, Pahadu Khan and Md Afrazul Sheikh since 2013, a shameful record for any state government. Incidents of cow smuggling and subsequent police encounters and dispute over religious sites such as Bundi have also not helped communal harmony in historically peaceful state like Rajasthan.
Most dangerous trends are emerging from Mewar region which has now become a crucible for communal politics of RSS. Reaction to Md Afrazul Sheikh lynching in Rajsamand in public at large showed indifference towards such incidents, which will be exploited in wake of large communal strife in the region. Subsequent protest by minority community had also not helped the matter any which way. Bhilwara has been living on tinder box for last many decades. What is more dangerous is that communal strife has percolated to rural areas brining martial castes such as Gurjar, Rajput etc directly in conflict with muslims. Mewar experiments of RSS have transformed communal tension from an urban phenomenon in to a rural strife. No one has forgotten repercussions of Gopalgarh violence where rural communal strife raised its ugly face for the first time in Rajasthan in recent times.
Mewar has been sitting on tinder box for quite some time and communal strife may spread like a wild fire if it enters the tribal zone. Danger is more pertinent when the winds will blow from south-west wherein the umbilical cord of economic life of tribal districts lie. Out of 32 seats in tribal region of Mewar, BJP currently holds all of them except one but not expected to win many in 2018 assembly election. Kota, Bundi and Chittorgarh are also seeing their share of communal tensions let alone the areas like Bhilwara and Ajmer.
In Alwar and Bharatpur, the sentiments against Meo community is strong and BJP leaders like Gyan Dev Ahuja, Banwari Lal Singhal, Jagat Singh, Maman Singh are doing their best to maintain the tempo of communal hatred till December 2018.
Communal tension will work as red carpet for strategies of Amit Shah and ground is already prepared in Rajasthan with countless small and big incidents lest Congress prepare for the worst in a mature way for the critical litmus test for its policies, ideology and more importantly to uphold constitutional values of equality and equity in social, democratic and secular India.