Lack of water, road and health facilities plague Jaipur Rural | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lack of water, road and health facilities plague Jaipur Rural

BySenjuti Sengupta I Edited by Shilpa Ambardar, Jaipur
Apr 13, 2024 07:22 PM IST

Jaipur Rural constituency comprises 2,180,156 voters, of whom 1,143,145 are men, 1,037,003 are women and eight are from the third gender community

The Jaipur Rural constituency located on the outskirts of capital city Jaipur, where Rajasthan shares its border with Haryana, is home to both century-old royal forts and a variety of modern industries.

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The constituency, which was recognised as a separate district in 2023, came into existence following the 2008 delimitation of the parliamentary constituencies. The seat turned into a Bharatiya Janata Party stronghold after the party won the Lok Sabha elections here twice, in 2014 and 2019, while the Congress bagged it only in 2009 — the first poll after the delimitation.

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The BJP also managed to win five out of eight assembly segments of the constituency in the state assembly elections held in December. The party won in Kotputli, Viratnagar, Jhotwara, Jawaramgarh, and Bansur while the Congress bagged Amber, Shahpura, and Phulera.

The constituency comprises 2,180,156 voters, of whom 1,143,145 are men, 1,037,003 are women and eight are from the third gender community. A total of 69,283 fresh voters are also all set to caste their votes this time. The area also traditionally comprises a majority of members from the Jat and Yadav community followed by Brahmins, Rajputs, Gurjars, and many other Scheduled Caste communities.

The seat got vacant as the two-time MP Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore contested from Jhotwara assembly constituency in the last state elections in December and is serving as the minister in the cabinet of the chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma-led Rajasthan government.

Rathore who belongs to Jaisalmer joined the party in 2013 with a star profile of being an Olympic medallist shooter and a retired colonel in the Indian Army. He was the party’s immediate choice against the senior Congress leader and then-Bhilwara MP CP Joshi from Jaipur Rural seat in the very next general election in 2014.

At that time, the seat was being served by the then Union rural development minister of the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government Lal Chand Kataria who in last March switched to BJP.

After a land-sliding victory against Joshi with over 32% margin in 2014, Rathore also won the seat against the former Congress MLA and another Olympian Krishna Poonia with a similar margin in 2019 as well. He also served as the central minister of information broadcasting and youth affairs during his first term in 2014 to 2019.

Rathore’s victory also revived hopes among the masses that he will bring significant development and changes. However, many parts of the constituency which are still plagued by multiple issues such as water scarcity, poor road connectivity, and lack of sufficient health facilities may pose challenges for the candidates ahead of the general election due in April 19.

“Water shortage is a daily struggle for us, particularly the people who reside in extremely remote areas. Despite taking up the matter with the government, little response has been received over the years. A minimal effort has been seen for the development and maintenance of the roads in the last few years. We also need more hospitals and advanced infrastructures in the existing hospitals in the villages,” said Kailash Saini, a long-time resident of the constituency.

Though Rathore could not be contacted for his comment despite several attempts through calls and text messages, a senior BJP leader familiar with the development said that the area “witnessed massive developmental changes during his period”.

“The Har Ghar Nal Se Jal scheme got a massive boost in the area during his term resolving the water-shortage issue in many remote villages. Around 50,000 Amrit Sarovars were also set up with the central government funds. At least 800 crore has been invested for the development of the Jaipur-Delhi highway. Six inter-state trains have also been routed from parts of the constituency with Rathore’s effort inviting more economic and industrial development in the area,” said the leader.

Amrit Sarovar is a central government scheme to conserve water.

However, after he took over the office of the minister in the Rajasthan government, the party has fielded three-time former MLA from Shahpura Rao Rajendra Singh who also contested the general election against Kataria in 2009 but lost by 52,000 votes.

Meanwhile, in a surprise pick, the Congress fielded prominent student leader 31-year-old Anil Chopra who will contest the election for the first time. Chopra, a member of the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee, had earlier remained the president of the Rajasthan University Students’ Union and the general secretary of the NSUI. As a leading Jat face of Jaipur, he was also the convener of the party’s national OBC wing.

Underlining his popularity among the youth and good communication at the ground level, Chopra said, “I have been working at the ground level in this constituency for a long time. People have faith in me. They are also disappointed with how the BJP has been misleading them in the name of development. There is no employment for the youth, no sufficient water and electricity for the people in Jaipur Rural. Rathore has failed to bring any changes in the area.”

Assuring the party’s victory he said “regular supply of drinking water, development of roads, and the welfare of youth and farmers will be his priority” if he wins.

Commenting on the development, political analyst Narayan Bareth meanwhile said, “Chopra can be a game-changer in these elections. His Jat identity will play a big role this time in the Jaipur Rural constituency which is dominated by Jats and other OBC communities. On the other hand, the BJP has fielded Rao, a Rajput candidate. BJP might also face a huge challenge from this constituency as anti-incumbency is taking shape against Rathore in the area.”

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