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Rajasthan Assembly Polls 2018: The caste dynamics in the state and the race for reservations

Understanding the dynamism among these communities will shed light on their voting patterns and how they could influence the assembly elections scheduled for next month

October 25, 2018 / 10:28 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image

Rajasthan is a land of myriad colours, and this pluralism extends to the communities and ethnicities that make up the population of the state.

The state is made up of 89 percent Hindus, 9 percent Muslims while 2 percent belong to other religions. The Scheduled Caste (SC) population is 18 percent, Scheduled Tribe (ST) 13 percent, Jats 12 percent, Gujjars and Rajputs 9 percent each, Brahmins and Minas 7 percent each.

Among these, the Rajputs and the Jats have been at loggerheads ever since the princely states were merged into the Indian Union in 1952. At that time, the princes had fielded a large number of their nominees, and the electorate which was used to being ruled by the kings had voted for them.

As a result, in the 1952 assembly elections, out of the total 160 seats, the Rajputs won 54, the Jats 12, Muslims two and the Scheduled Castes 10. However, in the coming years, the Jats and the Bishnois started emerging. And, in the next assembly election, the seats won by Rajputs almost halved (26), while Jats got double the number of seats (23).

Assembly Elections 2018: Read the latest news, views and analysis here