Ignoring non-Jats cost Cong in Haryana

Congress leaders wonder whether or not Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi could have played a more proactive role in addressing the concerns of non-Jat communities.

A preliminary analysis by the Congress has found that the consolidation of non-Jat communities in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cost the party in Haryana, a state it had ruled for a decade.

“We ignored the OBCs and Punjabis in our pursuit for Jat votes. Dalits, key supporters of the Congress, also deserted us,” a senior Congress leader said.

Another Congress leader wondered whether the “top leadership” of the party could have made efforts to prevent the erosion of non-Jat support for the party. Haryana Congress leaders have been complaining about former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s  eagerness to shower benefits on his Jat community but, leaders claim, no corrective action was taken.

“The top leadership could have made Rao Inderjit Singh a minister in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government,” a senior Congress leader said.

Singh, who belongs to the Ahir Yadav community, crossed over to the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and is now a Minister of State in the Modi government.

Similarly, Gujjar strongman Avtar Singh Bhadana joined the Indian National Lok Dal. To add to the Congress’ woes, the UPA granted reservation for Jats in government jobs as a parting gift.

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