Lok Sabha elections 2019: A keen contest on cards in Jodhpur
Jodhpur, Apr 24: All eyes on Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat, where Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is up against Congress' Vaibhav Gehlot, the son of Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot who will make his debut in electoral politics.
Shekhawat, who defeated Congress' Chandresh Kumari by over four lakh votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, is hoping to repeat the feat in the polls on April 29.
While, CM Gehlot is seen as the might behind his son, strengthening the belief for some that Vaibhav cannot lose from a seat his father represented for five terms in the Lok Sabha.
Jodhpur is widely considered Ashok Gehlot's home turf and Junior Gehlot is contesting elections for the first time.
Vaibhav Gehlot was born in 1980 when his father, a three-time chief minister of Rajasthan, became MP from Jodhpur for the first time.
Jodhpur is a Rajput-dominated seat. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is a Rajput as was his predecessor Chandresh Kumari of Congress. Vaibhav is a Mali, and Gehlot hopes to mobilise different castes in his favour.
Shekhawat is likely to get a lot of support from the RSS and the BJP cadre, but he may have some party leaders sabotaging him.
The BJP's caste calculation is focused on wooing the Jats, who have traditionally been Congress supporters. This is also driven by the Rajputs turning away from the party in Raje's time. Traditionally, Jats and Rajputs support opposing parties in the state. This time, Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal's Rashtriya Loktantrik Party has tied up with the BJP.
Jodhpur, which has 19.34 lakh voters, goes to polls in the fourth phase of the general elections on April 29. The constituency is dominated by the Rajputs, considered to be a vote bank for the BJP.
Congress had won six out of eight assembly seats in Jodhpur in the 2018 assembly elections.
For the last two decades in Rajasthan, the ruling party has always won most of the state's 25 seats in the Lok Sabha. This time, the contest will be close, and the BJP may even buck the trend.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Shekhawat had bagged 7,13,515 votes and defeated Chandresh Kumari of the INC who got 3,03,464 votes in his favour.