Something is Simmering in the Jat Belt of Uttar Pradesh

UncategorizedSomething is Simmering in the Jat Belt of Uttar Pradesh


Raza Hasnain Naqvi

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the Samajwadi Party are supporting each other in the Western Uttar Pradesh area specifically where the Jat community is supposed to have a stronghold. But things are not so calm and peaceful here in this ‘Jatland’ as some media channels have started calling this part of UP ever since UP elections began knocking on the door.

The first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections 2022 will start on Feb 10, 2022. It will cover 11 western UP districts and voting will be held in 58 assembly constituencies. Results will be announced on March 10, 2022 and the Uttar Pradesh Assembly will have 403 new MLAs.

The 58 assembly constituencies going to polls in PHASE – 1 are:

Kairana, Thana Bhawan, Shamli, Budhana, Charthawal, Purqazi (SC), Muzaffar Nagar, Khatauli, Meerapur, Siwalkhas, Sardhana, Hastinapur (SC), Kithore, Meerut Cantt, Meerut, Meerut South, Chhaprauli, Baraut, Baghpat, Loni, Muradnagar, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Modi Nagar, Dhaulana, Hapur (SC), Garhmukteshwar, Noida, Dadri, Jewar, Sikandrabad, Bulandshahr, Syana, Anupshahr, Debai, Shikarpur, Khurja (SC), Khair (SC), Barauli, Atrauli, Chharra, Koil, Aligarh, Iglas (SC), Chhata, Mant, Goverdhan, Mathura, Baldev (SC), Etmadpur, Agra Cantt. (SC), Agra South, Agra North, Agra Rural (SC), Fatehpur Sikri, Kheragarh, Fatehabad, and Bah.

These are the 58 assembly constituencies in 11 districts of Western UP where the Jat community has a say and sway of 18% votes. This will be a factor in deciding the fate of poll candidates on the voting day of February 10.

One could call this area the Jat belt or the more fashionable term in play now called ‘Jatland’. SP & RLD seem to have a certain control and confidence over this area in terms of expected voting patterns.

But there are some misgivings and disappointed murmurs coming from this area from a few members of the Jat community. This has added an edge of suspense to the final outcome that would be broadcast and telecast on March 10, 2022.

What Is Causing Misgivings In the Jat Belt

For the moment there are rumblings in the RLD cadre over the candidate announcements on Siwalkhas, Sardhana and Hastinapur (SC) constituencies. SP has announced its candidates on these seats.

The Jats in the area feel ignored and neglected as their own possible candidates were not selected. They feel that despite supporting the farmers agitation convincingly and in one voice, they have not been given their due voice and representation. There is strong disagreement over the choice of candidates listed for these three seats.

But these are only three contentious seats out of total 58 seats that go to the polls on Feb 10. What happens if there are disagreements on more seats as days go by and the polling date comes nearer?

On the other hand, Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister is doing his best to keep the Jat community on the side of the BJP. He has met about 200 Jat leaders in New Delhi recently in order to convince them to stay with the BJP.

The Jat community has been a supporter of the BJP in the elections held in 2014, 2017 and 2019. But what has turned their preference for another party like the Samajwadi Party is the decision of RLD to align with SP for the UP polls 2022.

The farmers protest against the farm laws on the Delhi border has brought them closer to the SP via the RLD and its leader Jayant Chaudhury. Once Jats vote and support any particular party in this western Uttar Pradesh region then that party’s rise to power and governance becomes stronger and positive.

What About Dalits and Backward Castes?

Besides the Jat community in these constituencies, there are farmers from the backward castes and dalits, mostly Jatavs here. They form the core voter of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party.

What can be seen is that political parties are doing their best to attract the Jat community to their causes for poll benefit on March 10. Yet what remains to be seen is the reaction of the backward castes and dalits who form a sizeable number in this area. Who this category of voters supports could decide the winning candidates in the constituencies of Western UP.

There are about 25% Muslim voters in this area too. SP has announced candidates who are from the Jat community (7 candidates) and the Muslim community (10 candidates). These candidates will be contesting in the first phase of UP elections 2022.

Just a Thought

The fight for the Jat vote is in 143 seats of western Uttar Pradesh. When Amit Shah met Jat leaders in New Delhi they raised the demand of having Bharat Ratna bestowed on former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh. He was the first leader with a big stature in the Jat community to gain such prominence. Other demands raised were reservation for the Jat community and their representation in the UP and Central government. Who can feel the pulse of the Jats best and turn their grievances into votes? Is it Jayant Chaudhary or Amit Shah? This is a question that will definitely get answered on March 10.

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