Jaipur: The ruling Congress may field former Union Minister and AICC general secretary CP Joshi as its candidate from Bhilwara. Joshi is currently the Speaker of the Rajasthan Assembly. Joshi was elected from Bhilwara in 2009 Lok Sabha election. Joshi, who is a close confidante of Rahul Gandhi, contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Jaipur (rural) seat and lost to the Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who is currently a Union minister.
Interestingly in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Joshi shifted his constituency from Bhilwara to Jaipur (rural) as he publicly apologised for the people of Bhilwara for not been able to solve the drinking water problem. However, Joshi’s supporters are keen that he should return back to Bhilwara. Joshi was elected to the Assembly from Nathdwara.
The Congress is also looking for a strong Muslim candidate and it has approached Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan to contest one of the 25 seats. According to well-informed sources, Irfaan Khan, as he is unwell and is being treated for cancer ailment, has expressed his inability to contest.
In 2014, Congress fielded former Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin from Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, but he lost to BJP’s Sukhbir Jonapuria. Both the Congress and the BJP are finding it tough to field formidable candidates. The BJP which won all the 25 seats in the 2014 election is finding it tough to field over a dozen candidate.
The party is likely to field some of its sitting MLAs to retain its numbers. Its not certain whether the party would field former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje or not as the party is not very keen to bring her in the national politics, though she is the party’’s vice president and she was nominated as the vice president by the saffron party along with the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan and the Chattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh
The BJP may field some strong candidate from outside the state like Jonapuria, who is backed by the Gujjar community. The party is looking for such candidates who could ensure the party electoral success.