Jaipur, May 5 (UNI) Water scarcity has become a major poll issue in Deeg constituency, which is witnessing hectic campaigning by both BJP and Congress before the May 8 byelection.
BJP's Divya Singh, who is a scion of the Bharatpur royal family, is pitted against Laxman Singh of Congress.
Stalwarts and top leaders of both parties are making whirlwind tours of Deeg, around 37 km from here, to woo the 1.21 lakh voters of the constituency.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia has already campaigned for Divya Singh, while former chief minister Ashok Gehlot and Union Minister Meira Kumar will be in Deeg today for Laxman Singh.
Deeg has always been a stronghold of erstwhile rulers of Bharatpur. They have won nine times from this constituency. Arun Singh from Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) whose death caused the vacancy, also belonged to the ruling family. Divya Singh's husband Vishvendra Singh is the MP from Bharatpur.
Till now, the erstwhile rulers fought independently. Although Man Singh from the royal family had fought on Swatantra Party ticket before, this is the first time that Divya Singh will be fighting on a BJP ticket. Divya Singh has been a MP from Bharatpur before.
Gujjars dominate the area but as there are no Gujjars in the race this time, poll analysts say the Gujjar votes will go in favour of Divya Singh. Even the Jaat votes are expected to go the royal family's way.
Severe water and power crises are the major election issues this time.
Ironically, water for Moti Mahal Palace in Bharatpur, the abode of the rulers, used to come from Deeg by tonga in six huge containers earlier. Yet the same rulers have not been able to solve the water problems in that very region. People here are unhappy over the condition of roads and the dismal power situation.
Congress candidate Laxman Singh lost two times, once only by 99 votes to Arun Singh in 1998. In 2003, Laxman Singh lost by 4000 votes. Political observers say he may get sympathy votes this time.
A two-time sarpanch and once pradhan, Laxman Singh recently held a rally in his native place, where people gathered Rs 2 lakh for election funding.
Both the candidates are managing to draw crowds in this blazing heat, so poll analysts say the fight is equally poised on both sides and would be tough for both candidates.
UNI RRT MSJ BD1617