ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Anna and Hisar

This refers to, “The Hisar Bye-elections: Myth and Reality” (EPW, 12 November 2011) written by Ranbir Singh. I agree Anna Hazare was not the crucial factor behind the victory of Kuldeep Bishnoi. In my opinion, the more powerful reason behind the crushing defeat of the Congress was the ever rising food inflation, and rise in fuel prices. Burgeoning corruption did contribute to the Congress’ Jai Prakash losing his security deposit.

I share the author’s view that local factors like caste, “neo-feudal” social values and the Mirchpur incident were major influences in voting behaviour. The dalits were angry with the state government for shielding the perpetrators of violence in Mirchpur and seem to have extended support to Bishnoi. Apart from this, social polarisation in the name of “Non-Jat” voters also helped him, though his margin of victory over Ajay Chautala was a water-thin 6,000 votes.

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