The elections of Rajasthan Panchayati Raj was scheduled recently, taking place in remaining 3848 Gram Panchayats from the initial phase. Due to COVID-19, these elections were postponed and were rescheduled for 28th September, 3rd, 6th & 10th October.
On 3rd October 2020, the election of Panchayat Samiti Dudu (in Jaipur district) was scheduled, for all 19 Gram Panchayats of this PS. As per the Part – IV Act of State Legislature (extracts from the Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Act, 1994). The seats were reserved as per the state reservation policy for category and gender [See Fig 1 for detail].
The voting percentage in all 19 GPs was very high since most of the people are back to their villages. About 86% of voters have used their right to vote during this election in Dudu PS, there are 75,872 voters in all 19 GPs, and 65,282 of them voted during this election. The minimum and highest percentage of voting was 78.52% and 91.59% respectively. [Figure 1]
OBC candidates won the election in 14 out of 19 seats in Dudu Panchayat Samiti. This is the first time in the history of Panchayati Raj Election in Dudu PS where only OBC, SC & ST candidates came into the lead role at Gram Panchayat Level.
Majority of elected candidates are Female (58%) which shows that there is equal opportunity for both the gender in this PS. Now let me come to the scene behind this historical change in this PS with more number of female and only OBC, SC & ST are elected by the population of this Panchayat Samiti.
There were ten seats reserved in Dudu Panchayat Samiti for the general category and interestingly, in all of these seats, OBC candidates defeated the upper caste candidates. This is the first time in history that all OBC candidates won on general seats, even in the case of women; the OBC women won on general tickets. Last time, all candidates were from Upper Caste (Rajputs) which drastically went down to zero.
In terms of population and wealth, Rajputs (upper caste) and Jat (OBC) are the main dominant social groups in these ten panchayats, but you will also find a good proportionate of schedule caste. The common caste factors worked until last time elections.
There would be two main candidates if seats were reserved for general category, i.e. Jat and Rajput, the other OBCs (Mali, Khati, Gurjar, Muslims, etc.) and Schedule Castes preferred to give votes to upper castes than the Jat candidates. But this time, in a historic move, all these votes, went to Jat candidates!
At the national level, the Bahujans are not united, but in this region of Rajasthan, the Bahujans voted for Bahujans and dismissed upper caste from the power. This is what we currently need in our country, where the representatives of fifteen per cent population are ruling over seventy-five per cent population.
While talking to an elected Jat Sarpanch, he said:
It has always been a challenge for us to get votes of SC and other OBCs but this time, we won their trust. The Rajputs, whom they were earlier voting for, did not even build an Anganwadi and concrete road for the SC community.
We promised them, and will fulfill the same, in a short time. We always had a special bond with our Dalit folks who used to come in the morning at our home to take buttermilk. They helped us in agriculture field. We all are Bahujan, if we shall be united then only we can fight against Brahmanwad!