Jaipur: In the Jaipur Rural seat, the Union sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is in a contest against another sports celebrity Krishna Poonia. Rathore the Athens Olympic Games silver medallist is called the “shooter” here while Poonia is called the “champion” and the contest between them is being dubbed as “polimpics. The Jaipur rural constituency was bifurcated from the Jaipur constituency as part of the delimitation and except some part of the Jaipur city most part of this constituency comprising 8 Assembly segments are rural.
Rathore had won this seat defeating the Congress giant CP Joshi in 2014 by over 3L votes. As there is no wave now, Rathore backed by a number of development works he has done, is seeking the support of people. Krishna Poonia is a rank outsider. She is the Congress MLA from Churu and was asked to fight Rathore for which she was not prepared. Caste factor is important here. In 2014 Rathore, a Rajput with a fewer Rajputs defeated CP Joshi who was a Bramhin, as there was a wave favouring BJP. This time around, there is np wave, yet he is hopeful the Modi factor would help him. No one talks of BJP or Congress. The big question is if they must vote for the Modi’s party or not.
On caste factor, the Yadavs matter a lot and so are the Bramhins, thus Rathore invited Baba Ramdev, a Yadav to be present when he filed the nomination. He was successful in telling the Yadav community Rathore was an ideal candidate and he is a focused person who believes in development. Rathore held a meeting of the UP CM at Kotputli to arouse the Hindu feelings among the electorate. Thus, Rathore tried to get all the leading people of various communities to campaign for him.
Krishna Poonia is overwhelmingly supported by the Jats as she is a Jat and the Muslims, Gujars, a good percentage of the Meenas (ST) and the Malis, the community to which Ashok Gehlot belongs are supporting her. There are 19 lakh votes and almost half are women and Krishna feels the women would vote for her as the Congress is committed to getting the women 33% reservation.