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

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Peasant Path for a Landlords' Party

Unionist Zamindara Party in Rajasthan

Following its surprise victory in the Rajasthan assembly elections, the National Unionist Zamindara Party is betting big on its prospects in the Lok Sabha elections by eating into left votes. Money power coupled with the broad basing of backward classes is keeping the conversation going about Rajasthan's newest entrant into electoral politics.

The article was earlier posted on the Web Exclusives section of EPW.

The north-western districts of Rajasthan are witnessing an unusual sociopolitical phenomenon in the emergence of the National Unionist Zamindara Party (NUZP). A combination of factors including issues of local development and promise of higher prices to agricultural commodities in the farm-rich districts of Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh have helped the nascent party to emerge as a challenge to the main political parties in the state – the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It is, again, threatening to uproot the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – CPI(M) – from one of its existing bases among the farmers of the Indira Gandhi Canal area.

NUZP with a rather intriguing name, registered as a political party by businessman B D Agarwal in 2013, defies the definition of a conventional political party as its rallying point is an agricultural product guar, a legume grown mostly in this part of the country, which of late has developed considerable potential for export.

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