It’s nationalism vs regional vision in Rajasthan

Jaipur: Caught between the cacophony of nationalism and regional vision – on issues of farm distress, unemployment, water crisis and poor connectivity – the voters in Rajasthan seem to be dwindling towards the former.

“It’s Modi versus all (issues and candidates) in Rajasthan. Modi has made his image larger than life. And in the post-Pulwama political scenario, Rajasthan seems highly taken in by the Indian Air Force (IAF) strikes in Balakot in Pakistan,” says political analyst Narayan Bareth.

“This is because many families in the state have their sons in the armed forces guarding the borders, and they seem to be the most impressed by the Prime Minister’s tough stance on national security. Nothing except nationalism seems to be influencing them at this point.

“The state’s ruling Congress looks confused as to how to fight this debate between nationalism and regional vision. It may get around 5-7 seats, while the BJP can win 18-20 seats,” adds Bareth. For decades, the Rajasthan Assembly has been alternating between the Congress and the BJP every five years. Following the same trend, the Congress dethroned the BJP in 2018.

The state is also known to give the party winning the Assembly elections the most number of Lok Sabha seats. Banking on this trend, the Congress is hoping to take its tally up from zero in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, even as the BJP attempts to repeat its success of winning all the 25 parliamentary seats in the state.

As both parties claim to achieve “Mission 25” in 2019, IANS takes an overview of the key issues and seats in the state: Of the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan, 13 will vote in the fourth phase on Monday while the remaining 12 will go to the polls in the fifth phase on May 6. At present, the BJP represents all the 25 seats. The total number of electorate in the state stands at 4.84 crore.

Out of the 200 Assembly constituencies in the state, the Congress had won 100 in the 2018 state elections. The BJP had won 73, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) six, Independents 13 while the remaining eight seats went to the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (3), Communist Party of India-Marxist (2), Bharatiya Tribal Party (2) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (1).

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