Jaipur: Two sports celebrities, who made their mark in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games are in fray in the Jaipur (Rural) LS seat. The Athens Olympic shooting silver meadlist and the the Union minister for sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is locked in an interesting duel with Krishna Poonia, the Congress MLA. BJP’s nominee Rathore, who was brought in the politics by the former CM Vasundhra Raje and was fielded as the BJP nominee had in 2014 trounced the Congress giant and the Union minister CP Joshi. Rathore is a Rajput and Poonia, a Jat and the two communities are arch-rivals.
Interestingly, both Rathore and Poonia are rank outsiders, while Rathore belong to Bikaner, Poonia hails from Churu. The party chose to field them on caste lines. Rathore for the past five years has nursed his constituency well and he would visit the various Assembly segments under the LS constituency to cater to the needs of people. He is a person, who enjoys mass contact, while Poonia was fielded in the last minute as the Congrss has no ideal candidate to fit in the caste equations of this predominantly rural constituency where he caste factor plays an important role.
There are Rajputs, Jats, Gurjars, Meenaa,Yadavs and a large chunk of Scheduled Castes in this constituency spread in Jaipur and Alwar districts. While Rathore is welcomed by the villagers as a people’s representative, Krishna is new to the area and people call her “Champion”, who doesn’t know much about the area. She confesses she has pushed into the fight by the party, but she also promises to serve the people if elected. In fact, both the rivals don’t bank on their sporting laurels and achievements, but try to speak about the promised made by their parties in the manifesto. Both of them are targeting the youth and trying to influence supporters and community votes.