In battle of Olympians, Congress confident Poonia will defeat Rathod
New Delhi, May 06: Two Olympians are facing each other today in the battle of the ballot in Rajasthan.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore against Congress candidate Krishna Poonia in the Jaipur Rural Lok Sabha constituency, which is one of the 12 seats of Rajasthan that are voting in the fifth phase on Monday.
In 2014, Rathore had defeated Congress candidate CP Joshi by a margin of 3,32,896 votes or 32.8 per cent votes.
The poll managers of Congress say that this time chances of their Olympian defeating Rathore are very high.
"Rathore managed to win in 2014 due to Modi wave. This time there is no such wave. Unlike 2014, there isn't BJP government in the state. Apart from it, we have taken care of caste equations in the constituency, which is now in favour of the Congress. We are hopeful that Poonia will definitely defeat Rathore with a big margin," claims a leader, who is a part of Congress campaign in Rajasthan.
She comes from a Hindu Jat family of Haryana. She has married Virender Singh Poonia of Gagarwas village of Churu district in Rajasthan.
The Congress leader says that the Jat community of Jaipur Rural is rallying behind Poonia.
The Jaipur Lok Sabha consists of the following assembly segments - Kotputli, Viratnagar, Shahpura, Phulera, Jhotwara, Amber, Jamwa Ramgarh and Bansur.
Congress is also upbeat because the BJP could win only two seats from the Lok Sabha constituency in 2018 Assembly elections. The Congress had won five seats and one seat was bagged by an Independent candidate.
Both Rathore and Poonia joined politics before 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Poonia joined the Congress at an election rally in Churu in the presence of Rahul Gandhi in 2013.
She lost her first election from the Sadulpur Assembly constituency as Congress candidate in 2013 Assembly polls. However, she won the seat in 2018 Assembly elections.
Rathore started his political innings by joining the BJP in September 2013 after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian Army.
He was sworn-in as the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in Narendra Modi cabinet.
In 2017, he was given independent charge of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
The Congress could not win even a single seat in Rajasthan in the last Lok Sabha elections.
However, it is buoyant after winning the recently concluded assembly polls and forming the government in the state.
The BJP, on the other hand, is under pressure to repeat the success of 2014 Lok Sabha elections at a time when the state government is headed by the Congress.