BJP teams up with RLP in Rajasthan for Jat votes

Beniwal will contest Lok Sabha polls on Nagaur seat as RLP candidate, BJP's poll in charge and union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said. PTI File photo

In a bid to woo the Jat community in the state, the BJP in Rajasthan has formed an alliance with Hanuman Beniwal's Rashtriya Loktantrik Party.

This is a huge blow to the Congress, who had tried to get the support of the emerging Jat leader but the talks remained inconclusive.

Beniwal is the sitting MLA from Khinvsar in Nagaur district and will contest against Congress' Jyoti Mirdha, a former MP from Nagaur, in the Lok Sabha polls.

The announcement came on Thursday morning from the BJP headquarters in Jaipur, after Beniwa met the saffron party’s Rajasthan election in-charge Prakash Javadekar.

The RLP leader said: "I will be fighting the election from Nagaur with support from the BJP. And I will also campaign across the country for the saffron party."

The RLP has been given one seat while the BJP will contest in the remaining 24 seats.

According to political analysts, the support of the RLP, which is popular among Jats, will benefit the BJP in garnering not only the community's votes in Nagaur, but those in the nearby Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Pali.

Mirdha is also a popular Jat leader, who had scored a massive victory in 2009, but lost in 2014 when the Modi wave swept all 25 seats in the state.

A week ago, Beniwal had met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Congress state president Sachin Pilot but there was no conclusion to their talks.

The Congress had announced its Nagaur seat in the last list, while the BJP was yet to announce their candidate.

According to party insiders, the RLP leader had demanded seven seats from the Congress, which was denied by the party.

In 2018, Beniwal had floated his own party in the state ahead of the Assembly elections in December last year.

Owing to Beniwal's appeal among Jats in the region and his popularity as a farmer leader, the RLP had won three seats in Khinvsar, Merta and Bhopalgarh in the state elections in December.

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BJP teams up with RLP in Rajasthan for Jat votes

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