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Why candidates selection tightrope walk for BJP, Congress in Rajasthan

For The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), There Are About Ten Seats Where The Party May Face Dissidence After Dropping Sitting MPs.

PTI | Updated on: 13 Mar 2019, 04:12:24 PM


The selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls may turn out to be a tricky affair for both the ruling Congress and opposition BJP in Rajasthan. The northern state has 25 Lok Sabha seats, out of which 23 seats are with the BJP and two with Congress. For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), there are about ten seats where the party may face dissidence after dropping sitting MPs. BJP state president Madan Lal Saini said the party was at a comfortable position on 13-15 seats from the point of view of candidates selection.

"Two meetings for candidate selection will take place soon. For the candidates' selection task, we are comfortable on more than half of the total seats. Some of the sitting MPs have to be dropped due to certain equations and on the basis of their performance and party workers' feedback," he told PTI.

Saini said the party has fixed the target of winning all the 25 seats. Jaipur is among such seats where sitting MP Ramcharan Bohra, who had won the 2014 elections with the largest margin of 5.39 lakh votes, is trying to retain his seat, while erstwhile Jaipur royal family member and former MLA Diya Kumari has also expressed her desire to contest from the seat. 

Jaipur district is divided into two Lok Sabha constituencies--Jaipur and Jaipur rural.  Jaipur rural is represented by MoS Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

Since both Rathore and Kumari are Rajput leaders, the saffron party is expected to avoid fielding Rajput candidates on both the seats of Jaipur, looking at the caste equations.

Kumari has also been seen making visits to Tonk and Sawaimadhopur and attending local programmes.  She represented Sawaimadhopur assembly constituency during the BJP rule from 2013-2018, but refrained from contesting the 2018 assembly elections. She, however, has shown her willingness to contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Though the former MLA has not openly expressed her choice of constituency, Kumari hosted 'Sawa-mani', a grand feast, on her birthday last month in Jaipur which was attended by senior party leaders and thousands of people from Jaipur and Sawaimadhopur.

There are chances of a change of candidate in Sriganganagar where sitting MP and former Union minister Nihal Chand Meghwal may be dropped.

Barmer, Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, Jhunjhunu, Churu and Bharatpur are among other such seats where the saffron party may face dissidence.

For the ruling Congress, Barmer is a tricky seat to handle from where Revenue Minister Harish Chaudhary and veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh are demanding ticket.

Manvendra had defected to Congress from the BJP ahead of the 2018 assembly elections. He was fielded against then chief minister Vasundhara Raje in Jhalrapatan constituency of Jhalawar district in the state polls. He was defeated by Raje with a margin of over 34,000 votes.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's son Vaibhav Gehlot is also keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections, with his choice of seat being Jalore-Sirohi.

"He will contest the election if the party high command gives him the chance," the CM told reporters during his Jalore visit recently.

PCC president and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said the party was fully prepared for the polls and the work on candidate selection was going on.

"The Congress is very well prepared for the upcoming election. Winnable candidates will be given tickets and we are hoping that more young people and those from all sections of society come on board," he said.  

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First Published : 12 Mar 2019, 10:37:13 PM