Updated on: Thursday, October 28, 2021, 06:57 PM IST

Rajasthan: Tough fight amongst candidates ahead of Assembly bypolls


Being the major political parties, Congress and BJP are the traditional rivals in Rajasthan, but in by-elections of two assembly seats of Vallabhnagar and Dharivad, the candidates of other parties are giving a good fight to both Congress and BJP. The elections are to be taken place on October 30.

The by-polls have been necessitated due to the demise of BJP MLA from Dhariawad, Gautam Lal Meena, and Congress MLA from Vallabhnagar, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Both seats are from south Rajasthan’s Mewar region where BJP has good support in the last assembly elections but the equations on these two seats are different.

BJP had lost the Vallabhnager seat as the constituency has been a stronghold of Congress with the party winning nine of the 16 assembly elections held since 1952.

With playing the sympathy card, the Congress has fielded Pretty Shaktawat, wife of late Vallabnagar MLA Gajendra Singh, while in BJP there were two strong claimants, Randhir Singh Bhindar and Udailal Dangi, but both were denied the ticket. The party has fielded a new face, Himmat Singh. Now, Bhindar and Dangi are contesting the election as an independent and on the ticket of a regional party RLP respectively and giving a good fight to both big parties.

The Dharivad seat is a scheduled tribe dominated seat in the Pratapgarh district. The constituency came into existence after delimitation in 2008 and has witnessed three assembly polls since then, where BJP won twice (2013 and 2018) and Congress in 2008.

It was expected that BJP will play a sympathy card and give the ticket to Goutam Meena’s son Kanhiya Lal Meena, but the party chose the other way and fielded a party worker Khet Singh. Kanhiya had filed the nomination but took it back as the party had given him a position in the organization. Whereas, Congress bets on Nagraj Meena who was party candidate in assembly elections also, but both are facing a challenge from Thawarchand, who is a rebel of Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP).

Though this election will not affect the political scenario in the state but still important for the leaders who are leading the parties. The win on both the seats will give strength to CM Ashok Gehlot who is under pressure from the other faction of the party whereas BJP desperately needs good results as the party has won only one seat in the last 6 by-elections.

Confident of winning both by-polls, CM Ashok Gehlot has stated that BJP would come on fourth place in Vallabnagar. “People of the BJP and the RSS are roaming from village to village and misleading people. Petrol, diesel and LPG prices are increasing day by day,” he said, addressing by-election rallies on Tuesday.

On the other hand, the BJP national general secretary and in charge for Rajasthan Arun Singh said voting for Congress means giving license to the inaction of the Gehlot government, increased crimes and misgovernance.

BJP state president Satish Poonia said there is a lot of resentment among the people about the anti-people policies of the Congress government.
It is to note that in the house of 200, the ruling Congress at present has 106 MLAs, BJP -71, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) -3, CPI(M), and Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP)-2 each, Rashtriya Lok Dal-1 and 13 are independent legislators. Two seats are vacant on which the by-polls are taking place.

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Published on: Thursday, October 28, 2021, 06:57 PM IST