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BJP banks on Raje, Modi against Cong

PTI  Jaipur, November 24, 2013
First Published: 10:51 IST(24/11/2013) | Last Updated: 15:54 IST(7/12/2013)

As campaigning reaches a crescendo in Rajasthan, ruling Congress and challenger BJP are banking upon two starkly different styles of electioneering to romp home in Assembly elections scheduled for December 1.

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The BJP's attempt to dethrone Ashok Gehlot government is being powered largely by the charisma of its chief ministerial candidate Vasundhara Raje coupled with Narendra Modi factor while Congress seems to be relying on its various regional satraps who have been tasked with the responsibility of leading the party's charge in their strongholds.

Despite having an incumbent CM, the ruling party has been rather ambiguous on the leadership issue in the event of it retaining power.

Though the welfare schemes of Gehlot government have featured prominently in the speeches of Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, he has also assigned a group of senior state leaders the job of ensuring the victory of party candidates in the regions of their influence, state party sources said today.

Congress leaders reckon that schemes like free medicines and diagnostic tests in government hospitals, laptop and scooty for students are popular but would not be enough to help return the party back to power in a state where social combination is key to electoral success.

To offset the anti-incumbency factor and annoyance of important communities, Jat and Muslims, with Gehlot administration, Congress has projected a collective leadership which is working on the ground, the sources said.

"Six months back, we were in a bad shape. Since then we have bridged the gap. Rahul ji has taken a keen interest in ticket distribution which has taken care of the interest of various communities and party leaders. Our workers are very enthused," a senior party leader said.

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