The polling frenzy for the Rajya Sabha election in Rajasthan is about to begin soon as the owner of a big media and entertainment house Subhash Chandra filed a nomination as an independent candidate on Tuesday.
The opposition BJP is supporting Chandra. The party is trying to play on the issue of local versus outsider as all three Congress candidates - Mukul Vasnik, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Pramod Tiwari are outsiders while Chandra claims that he hails from Fatehpur, Rajasthan.
After nomination, Chandra said "Last time I got elected from Haryana and this time I urged BJP leaders to support me in Rajasthan as I am originally from there." on the question of chances of his winnability, Chandra said "I took the decision after holding talks with many MLAs and am confident that I will get more votes than required."
Chandra’s nomination has made the Rajya Sabha election battle interesting in Rajashtan. Although as per the party-wise strength in the assembly two seats are certain for Congress and one for BJP and if Chandra would have not filed his nomination it could have been an unopposed election. But now there are five candidates for four seats, so polling has become inevitable.
As per the mathematics of votes in Rajasthan, a candidate needs 41 votes of first priority to win. The ruling Congress is contesting on three out of four seats and it needs 123 votes to get its candidates elected while it has only 108. So it needs 15 extra votes and the party is relying upon the independents and other parties who are supporting the government.
On the other hand, BJP has 71 votes and it has fielded its official candidate for one seat so it has 30 surplus votes and needs only 11 extra votes to win the fourth seat. "We are supporting Chandra as he is from Rajasthan and I am confident that he will win the seat," said Satish Poonia.
It is worth mentioning here that Chandra had contested the last Rajyasabha election from Haryana and despite having not enough numbers, he won the election as the votes of 14 Congress MLAs got rejected because of the use of the wrong pen for vote casting.
The Congress leaders in Rajasthan are apprehensive about the election as displeasure has emerged on the selection of candidates. The party has not chosen any leader from Rajasthan and for the first time, all three seats have been given to the high command. "BJP has not enough numbers so it should not support another candidate, but now it is sure that Bjp will use all kinds of malpractices to secure the win for its supported candidate," said Pratap Singh Khachriwas, the cabinet minister of the Gehlot government.
Though CM Ashok Gehlot is confident in the support of independents and other MLAs and said, "the MLAs were offered Rs 10 crore as the first instalment to topple our government, they refused and stood with us, so I don’t understand how BJP is expecting their support this time," he denied any issue of outsiders and said that it is the party’s call and all of us are with the party.