By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Feb 5 (IANS): The BJP seems to be changing its Hindutva model strategy and is focussing more on folk Gods in poll-bound Rajasthan.
This can be ascertained by looking at three visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Rajasthan in the last few months.
Earlier, Modi came to Rajasthan on a tour of Manpur on Abu Road and then he visited Mangarh Dham in Banswara.
Now, his recent trip was to Malaseri in Bhilwara district where he struck a chord with the Gujjar community by wondering whether it is a "coincidence" that India assumed the G20 presidency which has a lotus emblem in its logo in the 1111th year of Bhagwan Devnarayanji who also appeared on a lotus.
His visit to Bhilwara came at a time when there are 8 Gujjar MLAs in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, but not a single one of them is from the BJP. In such a situation, Modi linked the party's election symbol and Lord Devnarayan's Lotus connect to connect Gujjars with the BJP. The PM said in the meeting that Devnarayan was born on a lotus flower and we are also born with ‘lotus'. We have a deep connection with you, he added.
The BJP's election symbol is the lotus. In such a situation, the PM struck a chord with the Gujjars and made lotus the median connecting the two.
Even on his last visit to Mangadh, PM Modi had said about Govind Giri and other tribal personalities that they have not got respect in history till now. But now the contribution of these great men is being brought forward, he had said.
Similarly, in his speech in Malaseri, Modi talked about their contribution to the country and culture, taking the names of other Gujjar personalities including Vijay Singh Pathik, Rampyari Gurjar and Pannadhai. He said that such countless fighters could not get the place in history that they should have got. Modi said that now their contribution is being told to the people.
Similarly, the PM also mentioned many folk deities including Ramdevji, Tejaji, Gogaji, Pabuji in his speech at Malaseri. In such a situation, it is certain that instead of Hindutva, the BJP in Rajasthan has insisted on focusing on folk-Gods, local great men.
Last year BJP state president Satish Poonia had done a padyatra of 11 km from Ramdevra. It is believed that in the coming time, more programs can be organized by the BJP on the folk-deities and the places associated with them.
Earlier on November 1, the PM had visited Mangarh in Banswara. In his last two visits, the PM has tried to help the communities that hold an important place in the politics of Rajasthan.
Earlier, after reaching Mangarh, the PM had held a programme among the tribals. Here he talked about the sacrifice of Govind Giri and the culture of the tribals.
If we look at the tribal-dominated seats in Rajasthan, then 25 assembly seats are ST reserved seats. Apart from this, there are about 10 more such seats where the tribal vote bank remains effective. These include the seats of Udaipur, Rajsamand, Chittorgarh, Bhilwara, Baran, Sirohi.
Tribals were also traditionally the vote bank of the Congress. In such a situation, the Mangarh programme was seen to be in the direction of connecting with the tribals strongly in the coming elections.
At present, mainly due to the presence of Sachin Pilot, the Gujjar community seems completely inclined towards the Congress in Rajasthan. The Malaseri program was organized keeping this in mind. The Gujjars play a decisive role in 15 seats in Rajasthan.
This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's third visit to Rajasthan in the last 4 months at Malaseri Dungri in Bhilwara.
Earlier, Modi had come to Rajasthan on a tour of Manpur in Abu Road and Mangarh Dham in Banswara. But on this tour, the BJP and the Prime Minister's Office strategically kept the Congress completely away.
In order to establish the BJP in Gujjar society and to strengthen its hold, the focus of the program was kept completely within the BJP and the Prime Minister.
This is the reason why Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was not invited despite it being an official program, said sources.
Despite being the tallest leader of the Gujjar community in Rajasthan, Congress' former Dy CM Sachin Pilot was not invited. Neither any state government minister nor any Gujjar Congress MLA was seen at the program. Even Devnarayan Board president Joginder Awana did not show up.
The world has been made to sit on a lotus in the logo of the G-20. He said that the Gujjar community played the role of a sentinel in protecting the country and culture.
In fact, the BJP is also planning to follow the micro model by launching the Panna committee model where one Panna head will connect with five families while earlier in the Panna model, one head connected with 60 people.