Rajasthan 1st Phase: Two Union Ministers, sons of current and former CM in fray
New Delhi, April 27: Campaigning for the April 29 Lok Sabha polls in 13 out of 25 constituencies in Rajasthan has ended on Saturday evening.
Polling for the 13 Lok Sabha seats will take place on Monday from 7 am to 6 pm at 28182 polling stations. These 13 seats are Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, Ajmer, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jalore, Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Kota, and Jhalawar-Baran.
The remaining 12 constituencies -- Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, Jhunjhuju, Sikar, Jaipur Rural, Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur, Karauli-Dholpur, Dausa, and Nagaur -- will go to poll on May 6.
Over 2.5 crore voters will decide fate of 115 Candidates in fray for 13 seats.
Maximum candidates are contesting in Jalore and Kota where 15 leaders in each constituency are in the race.
There are 10 candidates each in Jodhpur, Chittorgarh, and Rajsamand, 09 in Udaipur, 08 each in Tonk-Sawaimadhopur and Pali, 07 each in Ajmer and in Jhalawar-Baran, 05 in Banswara, and 04 in Bhilwara. A total of 43 independent candidates are also contesting from these 13 seats.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have fielded candidates on all the 13 seats. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is contesting on 10 seats, and BJP ally Shiv Sena is contesting on four seats in the first phase of Rajasthan polls.
Union Ministers P P Chaudhary and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat are contesting from Pali and Jodhpur respectively.
The Congress has fielded its 2009 winning candidate Badri Ram Jakhar against PP Choudhary in Pali.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot's son and debutant Vaibhav Gehlot is pitted against Shekhawat in Jodhpur.
The BJP has also repeated its four-time sitting MP Dushyant Singh, son of former CM Vasundhara Raje, from Jhalawar Baran seat. The Congress has declared Pramod Sharma as its candidate from here.
In Jalore, the BJP has repeated its sitting MP Devji Patel who will face Congress candidate Ratan Dewasi. Patel had also won the seat in 2009.
While Congress has fielded Ramnarayan Meena in Kota, BJP has given ticket to its sitting MP Om Birla who won 2014 election after defeating Congress' Ijyaraj Singh by a margin of over 2 lakh votes.
In Chhitorgarh, BJP has given ticket to its sitting MP Chandra Prakash Joshi who had also won the seat in 2009. Congress has fielded Gopal Singh Idwa.
In Rajsamand, BJP has denied ticket to its sitting MP Hariom Singh Rathore and fielded Diya Kumari who is pitted against Congress candidate Devkinandan Gurjar.
BJP has renominated Arjun Lal Meena from Udaipur who will contest against Congress candidate Raghuveer Meena, the victorious candidate of 2009 elections.
In Tonk-Sawaimadhopur, BJP has repeated sitting MP Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria and Congress has given ticket to Namo Narain Meena, who had won the seat in 2009. Jaunapuria had defeated cricketer-turned-politician and Congress candidate Mohammed Azharuddin in 2014.
In Muslim, Jat, Vaishya, and Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe dominated Ajmer; BJP has replaced its sitting MP Sanwar Lal Jat and given the ticket to Bhagirath Chaudhary who will face Congress candidate Rijju Jhunjhunuwala.
Banswara is reserved for candidates representing the Scheduled Tribe community, and BJP has denied ticket to its sitting MP Manshankar Ninama and fielded Kanakmal Katara. Congress has given ticket to Tarachand Bhagora, who had won the seat in 2009.
In the 2014 elections, the BJP had swept the state by winning all the 25 seats. It was for the first time since 1989 that Congress had failed to win even a single seat in the state in the Lok Sabha polls.
In the last general elections, the BJP was ruling the state and had an upper hand but now the Congress is in power.
The challenge before the BJP is to repeat its 2014 performance, and according to the political analysts the chances of it are bleak.
Though this time the BJP is going into the polls in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but after the assembly debacle it has also forged alliance with Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), the party led by its former member and Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal.
He had left the BJP after differences with then Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. The RLP had won Khinvsar, Merta and Bhopalgarh seats in 2018 Rajasthan Assembly elections.
The Congress has asked Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and its MLAs to ensure win of party candidates.
The Congress MLAs and Ministers have adopted the 2014 strategy of the BJP and telling the voters if the MLAS, state government and the central government are of the same party, development will be faster.