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Cong bets on ex-BJP man to break Jaipur jinx

Congress is hoping that BJP rebel PS Khachariya will defeat saffron candidate Giridhar Lal Bhargava, seeking a record sixth term.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Jaipur
PUBLISHED ON APR 12, 2004 06:38 PM IST

The Congress is banking on an expelled BJP leader to break its jinx in the prestigious Jaipur Lok Sabha seat in the coming elections.

The party hopes that BJP rebel Pratap Singh Khachariya will defeat the saffron candidate Giridhar Lal Bhargava, who is seeking a record sixth consecutive term from Jaipur.

Jaipur is considered to be a BJP bastion. In the last elections, the then chief minister Ashok Gehlot himself went door to door seeking votes for Congress nominee Raghu Sharma, but even then the party lost by about 1.42 lakh votes.

Except in the 1952 and 1984 elections Congress has been unable to win the seat despite all its efforts.

"Khachariyawas can effectively take on Bhargava because he has large followings and Congress cadres would certainly work with sincerity for his victory," says Congress Legislative Party leader B D Kalla.

However, the Congress nominee's detractors say that he would be a liability for the party as he was an accused in Sati glorification case.

While Khachariyawas is yet to prove his sway among voters BJP candidate Bhargava's midas touch had been evident in the last five consecutive Lok Sabha elections.

Bhargava, who was first elected to the state assembly in 1972 as a Jan Sangh nominee continued his winning spree in assembly elections till 1985 losing only once in 1980 before graduating to parliamentary elections.

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