NH analysis : BJP govt in Haryana won the trust vote, but Jats’ ire likely to lead to its eventual downfall
Jats constitute 22-25 per cent of the total population in Haryana, and if they unite and decide to vote against the BJP, it will face a drubbing in the next polls
Arguing for the release of jailed ex-DU professor GN Saibaba, novelist-activist Arundhati Roy remarked on Wednesday that people in today’s India are fighting a ‘pathological battle’. She meant to say things have changed so drastically that identifying them as a political problem is not going to help any more.
It is important to understand Roy’s assessment of the situation in present-day India while talking about the trust vote held in Haryana Assembly on Wednesday because had it not been for the ‘pathological battle’, the BJP-led government should have fallen. And the deputy chief minister and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) leader Dushyant Chautala would have been sitting with the protesting farmers by now, instead of attending the Assembly session in Chandigarh.
Let us not forget that Dushyant Chautala has, time and again, spoken against the farm laws and extended his moral support to the agitating farmers. Chautala’s MLAs were also said to be unhappy with the Khattar government. It was said that they were waiting for an opportune moment to pull out from the alliance with the BJP.
However, when such a moment came – in the form of the no-confidence motion moved by senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda – the JJP MLAs voted in favour of the government, allowing BJP to retain power in the Jat-dominated state.
But to say that winning the trust vote inside the Assembly is equal to winning the trust of the people would be a fallacy. No doubt, in a democracy, an Assembly represents the people’s will, but due to those very ‘pathological’ changes which Arundhati Roy pointed out, there remains a gap between people and the seat of power. And this gap is widening with every passing election.
Those who understand Jat politics know about the gap already. A top BJP source working in the CM’s office in Haryana had already confided that JJP MLAs would not vote against the government. His assessment was based on the inputs he had from the intelligence department and his own sources within the JJP.
The reason for this, he said, was, ‘If they withdraw support, they will have to face elections which, they are convinced, they will lose. Why would anybody risk his or her political career for farmers?’
JJP MLAs, who thrived on Jat identity politics, have voted to save the Khattar government but as signals emerging from the ground suggest, this has not gone down well with the Jat community.
One should not forget that Jats constitute 22-25 per cent of the total population in Haryana and around 7 per cent in western UP. In Rajasthan and Delhi, they constitute around 9 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.
Quite clearly, if they unite and decide to vote against the BJP, it will face a drubbing in the next polls. One would also do well to remember that Jats played an important role in BJP’s victory in 2014 as well as 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But things have rapidly changed on the ground since November 2020 due to the large participation of the community in the farmers’ agitation.
By bringing the no-confidence motion against the Khattar government, the Congress has exposed the ‘pathology’ which forced JJP MLAs to vote in favour of the government, said a Haryana watcher.
JJP, which claims to be a champion of Jats politics, stand exposed in Haryana and the BJP may face the Jats’ ire in other states such as UP, Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi where the community constitutes a sizable part of the population.
This discontent will eventually consolidate and unite Jats against the saffron party and take a political shape in coming times for which the BJP will have to pay a heavy political price. Coupled with issues like inflation, unemployment and social unrest, this factor will eventually script the downfall of the saffron party in Haryana, said the Haryana watcher.
Published: 11 Mar 2021, 7:09 PM