Guar farmers plan own party in Rajasthan

Over 3.5 lakh guar farmers in Rajasthan are quietly planning the launch of their very own Zamindara Party before the Assembly elections in the state in 2013.

The party is already registered officially as National Unionist Party. The farmers, who had earlier formed an informal organisation called Sir Chhotu Ram Kisan Samiti, are led by guar merchant B D Agarwal whose daughter is likely to be the face of the party.

The movement first started a few years ago when Agarwal earned the goodwill of the guar farmers in Sriganganagar and neighbouring districts by taking up their issues, including getting them higher rates for their guar crop and bargaining with the state government for better facilities.

"What started with only a few farmers now includes a cross-section of society. Our party is a commendable mix of different castes and religions," said Agarwal's aide Rajinder Kumar Jani.

The party plans to back farmers in all the 200 Assembly constituencies of the state, with special focus on the 24 seats in Hanumangarh, Sriganganagar, Churu and Bikaner. It is not averse to joining hands with the BJP in constituencies.

While the movement has been gathering steam for some months now, it gained momentum after the state government declined a medical college that was proposed by the community in Sriganganagar.

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