The Bhartiya Janata Party's (BJP) Rattan Lal Kataria is leading against Congress' Kumari Selja in Lok Sabha election 2019 from Ambala Lok Sabha constituency in Haryana, according to early trends.
In this Lok Sabha constituency, there is a direct contest between Dalits. The community holds around 25 per cent of the electoral base in Ambala and plays the kingmaker in the constituency. But unlike most of the regions, the Dalits are further divided among Balmikis and Ravidasias. Out of a total 16,92,227 electors, there are 4.50 lakh Ravidasias community voters, followed by Balmikis, 98,000 votes.
Kumari Selja, from the Ravidasia community, is facing challenges from Balmikis, who don't endorse her. The Balmikis are against Congress for not giving the ticket to a candidate from their own community.
However, Congress did field a candidate from Balmikis, Raj Kumar Balmiki in the previous general election. The party was defeated by BJP's Rattan Lal Kataria, who was from Ravidasia community, by a margin of around 3.40 lakh votes.
In this Lok Sabha election, Congress is banking on Kumari Selja, who is not only from majority Ravidasia community but also a popular face among her own community members. However, the possible polarisation of Balmikis by Rampal Balmiki of Indian National Lok Dal, and her disconnection with urban voters could become a hurdle in the battle.
Ambala has around 45 per cent backward class voters. The rest are Sikhs, Punjabi, Jats, Brahmins, upper caste Rajput, among other communities.
(Edited by Vivek Dubey)