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Hanuman Beniwal, Rahul Kaswan among key candidates in Rajasthan's 1st phase of Lok Sabha polls

Apr 18, 2024 08:27 PM IST

Twelve of 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan will go to polls in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on Friday.

A total of 12 Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan will vote in the first phase of general elections on April 19. The 12 constituencies to go to polls on Friday are Ganganagar, Bikaner, Churu, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Jaipur, Jaipur Rural, Alwar, Bharatpur, Karauli-Dholpur, Nagaur and Dausa.

Congress candidate Rahul Kaswan, Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and former MP Hanuman Beniwal (L to R).(PTI)

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has left no stone unturned to repeat if not better the 2019 Lok Sabha election results, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigning in Churu, Dausa, Jaipur Rural, Barmer, and Ajmer. PM Modi's colleague and Union home minister Amit Shah held high-decibel campaign in Alwar, Sikar, and Jaipur.

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Read: Five Maharashtra seats, including Nitin Gadkari's Nagpur, to vote in first phase

To bolster the Congress campaign, key party leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Sonia Gandhi have been actively involved in rallies and visits across various locations in Rajasthan. Rahul Gandhi held rallies in Anupgarh and Falodi, while also visiting Dholpur and Banswara twice during the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

Kharge visited Rajasthan twice in Chittorgarh and Jaipur, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited the state four times in Jaipur, Jalore, Alwar, and Dausa. Sonia Gandhi, along with Kharge and Priyanka, visited Jaipur on April 9, a day after the party launched its manifesto in Delhi.

Read: Lok Sabha elections phase 1: 9 Union ministers, 2 ex-CMs & ex-governor in poll fray. Check list

Key candidates in fray in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections:

Hanuman Beniwal and Jyoti Mirdha in Nagaur

In the 2019 elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won all but one Lok Sabha seat in Rajasthan – Nagaur. While the main candidates from Nagaur remain the same, both have switched their allegiance this time. Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) candidate and former MP Hanuman Beniwal separated from the NDA in 2020 over the farmer's agitation issue. Mirdha, who lost against Beniwal on a Congress ticket in 2019, has been fielded by the BJP this time.

Rahul Kaswan in Churu

In the Churu Lok Sabha constituency, BJP dropped sitting MP Rahul Kaswan, considered a Vasundhara Raje loyalist, and fielded Paralympian Devendra Jhajhariya. Rahul Kaswan quit the party and joined the rival Congress to contest from Churu, a bastion of Kaswan family.

Arjun Ram Meghwal in Bikaner

Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, a Dalit leader, has been representing Bikaner Lok Sabha seat since 2009. Congress cancelled the ticket of previous candidate Madan Gopal Meghwal and pitted Govind Ram Meghwal against the Union law minister. Govind Ram Meghwal, who was a minister in the previous Ashok Gehlot government, lost the 2023 assembly polls.

CPI(M)'s Amra Ram in Sikar

The CPI(M), a member of the opposition INDIA bloc, has fielded former MLA Amra Ram from Sikar Lok Sabha constituency against the BJP's incumbent MP Sumedanand Saraswati. Amra Ram had been an MLA from the Danta Ramgarh and the Dhod seats. Sikar is the hometown of the Congress' Rajasthan unit chief Govind Singh Dotasra.

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