Dance With Democracy: The Rise Of Sanjana Jatav

Sanjana Jatav is one of the youngest MPs inducted into Lok Sabha. She first gained fame during the Assembly polls in Rajasthan in November 2023.

Sanjana Jatav, Congress MP from Bharatpur Photo: Facebook

On the eve of Lok Sabha results, a video of a young woman dancing with carefree joy took over India’s imagination and social media. And, that is how most of the country was introduced to Sanjana Jatav, one of Rajasthan’s youngest MPs.

Having won the Bharatpur constituency seat from BJP candidate and seasoned politician Ramswaroop Koli by a whopping 51,983 votes, Jatav had much to celebrate. After the crushing defeat of the Congress in the 2023 Rajasthan Assembly elections, Sanjana emerged as the main face of the Congress’ campaign "Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon" in Rajasthan.

While Jatav is just coming to the attention of Delhi media for being one of the youngest MPs inducted into Lok Sabha, the 26-year-old gained fame for a spirited campaign during the Alwar Assembly polls in November 2023. Though she lost then, Jatav highlighted key issues like crime, water scarcity and unemployment.

In an interview with a leading daily, Jatav said her father passed away soon after November 2023, possibly due to disappointment about the election. In another interview, she said she took her loss to mean that she needed to change tactics and launch a better campaign. Six months later, she did. “My speeches are based on local issues like water scarcity and unemployment which I will address through policy initiatives. Education and healthcare especially for children who have to travel far for basic services are on my agenda,” she said in an interview with BBC.

Born in Busawar, a Dalit-dominated village in Rajasthan, Jatav comes from humble beginnings. A first-generation politician, she began her career as a zilla parishad member/ district councillor of Ward 29. She won the position by 4,991 votes.

Jatav completed her BA from Gandhi Jyoti College of Surajmal Brij University and her law degree from Lords University, Alwar. She is married to police constable Kaptan Singh and is the mother of two. After marriage, Jatav also prepared for a government job. Her husband in an interview with BBC says, “As soon as she came I asked her if she wants to study further.”

As she takes her seat in Parliament only three years after she began her political career, Jatav represents not only her constituency but a new breed of leaders looking for change.

In Rajasthan, the BJP won 14 out of 25 Lok Sabha Seats. However in the Lok Sabha Elections of 2019, BJP won a majority in Rajasthan by winning 24 seats Congress which had zero seats in 2019 won 8 this time and  CPI(M), Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, and Bharat Adivasi Party won one seat each.