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Dalit-Jat fight breaks out in Sonepat

Inter-caste rivalry broke out in Haryana’s Sonepat after a Dalit youth was killed on Monday. For the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, caste-related tensions between Dalits and Jats in Gohana town of Sonepat, Haryana, could not have come at a worse time.

With the possibility of fresh general elections becoming imminent, the clash between Dalits and the dominant Jats in Haryana, if not contained, could have a ripple effect which would affect the electoral outcome of the Congress in northern India.

The Congress has positioned itself as a party of the weaker section, mishandling of the Gohana situation could dent its image.

The Dalits, who voted the Congress, after Chautala government failed to handle the Jat-Dalit clashes in the state, may now chose to look elsewhere during the next elections.

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has condemned the administration’s handling of the situation and demanded a judicial probe into the killing of a Balmiki youth in Gohana.

While the LJP may not be able to provide the electoral option, the party president served to articulate a Dalit position on the situation. It could open up an opportunity for parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to gain a toehold in the state.

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