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Explained: Why Baroda bypoll is a crucial battle for both Congress and BJP

Baroda bypoll: The Indian Express explains the local factors, caste equations and demography of the Baroda constituency which goes to polls on Tuesday.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Updated: November 3, 2020 12:25:34 pm
Baroda, Baroda bypoll, Baroda bye-election, Baroda result, Baroda bypoll resultOutside a polling station in Baroda on November 3. (Express Photo)

The results of Baroda bypoll will not only affect the local politics of Rohtak and Sonipat district of Haryana, which are considered stronghold of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, but also of the entire state. The Indian Express explains the local factors, caste equations and demography of the Baroda constituency which goes for polls on Tuesday.

Why is Baroda considered a Hooda stronghold?

For the past three Assembly polls, the Congress candidate has won the polls from Baroda constituency. In 2019 polls, the Congress won not only Baroda, but all three of its neighbouring constituencies, Gohana, Kharkhoda and Garhi Sampla Kiloi too. From Garhi Sampla Kiloi, Hooda himself had contested the election registering highest victory margin of 58,213 votes in 2019. Not only this, the Baroda constituency shares borders with Hooda’s native village Sanghi. Not only Bhupinder Singh Hooda, but his son Deepender Singh Hooda too has his followers here. However, in 2019 polls, BJP’s Olympian candidate Yogeshwar Dutt had given a tough fight to Congress’s Sri Krishan Hooda, though he finally lost the poll battle by a margin of 4,840 votes. Then the Jannanayak Janata Party candidate too had secured significant votes from here. This time, the JJP has supported Dutt, but it’s yet to be seen how many votes it succeed to shift to the BJP candidate on the poll day. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram

Also read | The bye-elections to 56 Assembly seats in 11 states: All you need to know

Baroda, Baroda bypoll, Baroda bye-election, Baroda result, Baroda bypoll result A polling booth at Kathura village of Baroda constituency. (Express Photo)

What’s the demography of Baroda constituency?

Baroda is one among the few constituencies of Haryana which have all voters in the rural areas. All the 1.8 lakh voters are here from constituency’s 54 villages. Like most of other villages of Haryana, the main occupation of its residents is agriculture. That’s why opposition Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal have focused their campaign on the issues related to farmers with the BJP too projecting it as the well-wisher of the agrarian community.

Will caste equations play an important role in Baroda?

With more than half of the voters belonging to the Jat community, the constituency is considered as Jat dominated area. Like previous elections, Jat and non-Jat factor may play an important role here. Congressmen here hope to get support of majority of Jats with similar expectations of BJP men from the non-Jat communities. This as Congress’s Induraj Narwal aka Bhalu is from Jat community while Dutt is from Brahmin community. However, many in the constituency believe that BJP rebel Raj Kumar Saini and INLD’s Jogender Malik will woo a section of votes from non-Jats and Jats, respectively. A JJP MLA Ram Kumar Gautam, who spent more than a week in the constituency to garner support for Dutt, claims that there won’t be Jat-non-Jat factor in this election.

“The Jats are an intelligent and brave community. They can’t be misled. I have experience about the Jats as they had played important role in my win from Narnaund constituency twice,” says Gautam, who is too from Brahmin community. A Congress supporter Jogender Narwal, a Jat, too claims there is no Jat-non-Jat factor in their village Kathura of the constituency. But these are just claims because at the ground, the caste appears playing central role in the election. Many of the Jat voters are vocal in support of Bhalu, but non-Jats here appear mostly silent like most of the previous elections in Haryana.

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