Battle of the Brahmins: Sanganer’s electoral drama unfolds


On the Sanganer assembly seat in Jaipur district, Congress has only secured 2 wins out of the 10 assembly elections held since its inception in 1977, despite losing by only 8 points. For the past 20 years, Congress has been eagerly yearning for victory here. The Sanganer seat in Jaipur district is considered a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Brahmins and Rajputs have often chosen Brahmin leaders for this seat. This time, both BJP and Congress have fielded Brahmin candidates, making it likely that the elected representative will be a Brahmin.

BJP candidate faces an external challenger:

In the current elections, the BJP has fielded Bhajan Lal Sharma, a resident of Bharatpur, as its candidate for the Sanganer assembly seat. Despite being the state BJP minister, Bhajan Lal Sharma is facing a challenge from an external candidate. He is up against Congress’s Pushpendra Bharadwaj, who, apart from being a local, has been active in the area for the past 5 years. Congress is optimistic about this, especially considering that in the previous 2018 elections, he received more than 50,000 votes for the first time.

Congress may suffer damage from Pandit Suresh Mishra:

Pandit Suresh Mishra, the president of the All Brahmin Association, was a Congress candidate in the 2008 assembly elections but did not win. He sought a ticket from the party in 2013 and 2018, but the party rejected his request. Expecting a ticket from Congress this time, Mishra was surprised when the party preferred the defeated candidate from the last election, Pushpendra Bharadwaj, over him. Suresh Mishra, known for leading movements for Brahmins, is deeply hurt. He is close to Sachin Pilot in political circles, and there’s speculation that his ticket was denied due to his association with the Pilot faction.

Water and sewage are the main issues:
In the Sanganer assembly constituency, sewage is the most significant problem, followed by water issues. Every election in the region revolves around these two issues. The groundwater in the area is heavily contaminated due to the textile printing industry. The water from local wells is so polluted with chemicals that if you dip a clean cloth in it, the cloth comes out with fixed colours. The problem of pollution has not been resolved to date.

Most wins by Vidya Pathak:
In 1977, Rajasthan increased the number of assembly seats from 184 to 200 through delimitation. This process gave birth to the Sanganer assembly seat. In the first election, Vidya Pathak achieved the honour of being the first representative of the area. Vidya Pathak contested on a Janata Party ticket in 1977. After that, he won in 1980, 1985, and 1990 on BJP tickets. His record of winning four consecutive elections has not been surpassed to date.

Indira Mayaram illuminated Congress’s name:
While Indira Mayaram lost to Vidya Pathak in 1990, she indicated a threat to the BJP. This warning showed its impact in 1993 when Vidya Pathak lost, and the underestimated Congress candidate, Pushpendra Bharadwaj, tasted victory for the first time with a significant margin. Indira Mayaram again hoisted the victory flag in 1998. In the Ashok Gehlot government, she also became a minister. She remained the president of the Pradesh Mahila Congress.

Ghanshyam Tiwari’s dominance:

In the 2003 assembly elections, Ghanshyam Tiwari made his debut in this seat, defeating Congress’s Indira Mayaram with 33,025 votes. He maintained BJP’s dominance by defeating Congress’s Suresh Mishra with a margin of 32,912 votes in 2008. In the 2013 elections, Ghanshyam Tiwari defeated Congress’s Sanjay Bapna with a record 65,350 votes. Later, he parted ways with the BJP. In the 2018 assembly elections, he formed the Bharat Vahini Party and secured the third position. Ashok Lahoti, representing the Vaishya community in BJP, defeated Congress’s Pushpendra Bharadwaj by a significant margin of 61,595 votes, bringing an end to Congress’s efforts.

Political history of Sanganer Seat
1977 Vidya Pathak (Janata Party)
1980 Vidya Pathak (BJP)
1985 Vidya Pathak (BJP)
1990 Vidya Pathak (Congress)
1993 Indira Mayaram (Congress)
1998 Indira Mayaram (Congress)
2003 Ghanshyam Tiwari (BJP)
2008 Ghanshyam Tiwari (BJP)
2013 Ghanshyam Tiwari (BJP)
2018 Ashok Lahoti (BJP)

Voter Count
Total Voters 3,50,032
Male           1,83,102
Female        1,66,920
Third Gender 10