In the 2014 elections, the Congress had won 10 of its 15 seats from the belt. Rohtak district is considered the stronghold of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had bagged the post of the Congress Legislative Party leader last month.
Haryana Assembly Election 2019: After sweeping the Ahirwal belt in southern Haryana in the last assembly polls, the ruling BJP has now set its eyes on reaping rich electoral dividends from the Jat-dominated Deswali region in the October 21 elections. The Deswali belt comprises districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonipat, which send 14 MLAs to the 90-member state legislature.
In the 2014 elections, the Congress had won 10 of its 15 seats from the belt. Rohtak district is considered the stronghold of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had bagged the post of the Congress Legislative Party leader last month. His son and three-time Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda had lost to BJP candidate Arvind Sharma in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Former CM Hooda too had lost the Lok Sabha contest from Sonipat. In the past, the BJP’s top brass, including party president Amit Shah, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have visited the Deswali region a number of times.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar too had concluded his “Jan Ashirwad Yatra” in Rohtak recently. Union Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah had camped in Rohtak for three days in 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held three major events in Rohtak in the past two years, including the inauguration of a statue of legendary farmer leader Sir Chhotu Ram. Modi addressed a poll rally in Rohtak in connection with the Lok Sabha polls in the region.
A month ago, he had addressed another rally before the assembly polls. However, a state BJP leader said the party now enjoyed a strong base in entire Haryana and claimed that this would reflect in the results of the assembly polls.
The BJP had also won all five mayoral seats in the Deswali belt in the past. “Our performance will not be limited to pockets, but across the state and you will see that we will deliver,” the BJP leader said.
This time, the BJP has set a target of bagging over 75 seats in the state. Last time, the saffron party had bagged 47 seats in the assembly elections, sweeping the Ahirwal belt and the northern parts of the state.
The Congress at that time had stemmed their tide in the Jat-dominated Deswali region. In 2014, when BJP formed its government in Haryana for the first time on its own, prominent Ahirwal leader Rao Inderjit Singh had joined the saffron outfit ahead of the Lok Sabha polls that year after snapping nearly four-decade-old ties with the Congress. Rao’s joining had come as a boost to the BJP, resulting in the party bagging 11 assembly seats in Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendergarh districts.