Stalwarts lock horns in Rajasthan Assembly polls

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Jaipur,Nov 22(UNI) Battle lines have been drawn for December the four Assembly polls in Rajasthan even as stalwarts from various parties, including Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, her predecessor Ashok Gehlot, Congress state president CP Joshi and many rebels, were seen locking horns with rivals in various constituencies.

As usual, the desertland is heading for another contest between traditional rivals - the BJP and the Congress, presence of a large number of rebels from both the parties and candidates from other parties like BSP, JD(U), INLD, including Meena strongman Kirodi Lal Meena, Jat leader Vishwendra Singh, have posed a serious threat in several constituencies to the traditional contenders to power in the state.

Chief Minister Raje is seeking her second successive term for the state legislature from Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar district against comparatively light weight rivals Mohan Lal (Congress), Abdul Karim Siddique (BSP) and nine others.

Rebel BJP legislator Gujjar leader Prahlad Gunjal had created sensation for the time being in ruling BJP camps by announcing his resolve to contest the seat against Ms Raje, but this did not last for long as the Gujjar leader finally gave up to contest Hindoli in Bundi district.

AICC General Secretary former Chief Minister Gehlot is making ''easy going'' bid for a third successive term from Sardarpura against his traditional rival Rajendra Gehlot (BJP). Eleven others, including Prem Singh (BSP), are also in the fray in Mr Gehlot's bastion in Jodhpur.

Another BJP heavy weight Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria is refielded by the saffron party on Udaipur seat against Trilok Purbia (Congress), Vivek Vyas (BSP), Sukhdev Aneja (SP) and eleven others.

Mr Joshi was pitted in a seven corner contest in the temple town of Nathdwara. In a bid to give him a tough time, Ms Raje has opted to launch her statewide campaign from Nathdwara today.

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