All odds in favour of Vasundhara Raje’s son in Jhalawar
Among the voters in Jhalawar-Baran parliamentary constituency, some identify sitting MP Dushyant Singh as the face of the Bharatiya Janata Party; some as the son of chief minister Vasundhara Raje, and some as a politician educated in the US.Updated: Apr 04, 2014 23:29 IST
Among the voters in Jhalawar-Baran parliamentary constituency, some identify sitting MP Dushyant Singh as the face of the Bharatiya Janata Party; some as the son of chief minister Vasundhara Raje, and some as a politician educated in the US.
These identities, coupled with the fact that no party other than the BJP has won in Jhalawar for the last seven parliamentary elections, tilt the scales in favour of Dushyant, a two-time MP.
As far as performance is concerned, Dushyant’s is not at all bad. An exhausted local area development fund (MPLAD), revamped hospitals and a buzzing Kota-Jhalawar railway line are all testaments to his work. He is a familiar figure among the voters and was around in the constituency for the most part of his terms.
Jhalawar parliamentary constituency is a BJP fortress, made impregnable by one of the most powerful leaders in Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje.
Since 1989, the 60-year-old Maratha royal remained the MP of Jhalawar for five consecutive terms. When Raje was elected as the chief minister in 2003, she transferred the baton to her son Dushyant Singh in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
Singh repeated his victory in the next parliamentary election in 2009, when the time was adverse for BJP in the state. He was among the only four winning BJP candidates of the total 25 in that election, defeating Urmila Jain Bhaya of the Congress by over 50,000 votes. Jain is the wife of prominent Congress leader Pramod Jain Bhaya, who is the Congress candidate against Dushyant this time.
The Congress party, which suffered one of its worst defeats in the assembly election three months ago, is finding it hard to come up with a strong contender for the Jhalawar seat.
While Congress was able to win only 21 seats, the BJP won a record 160 seats out of the total 200 in the assembly polls in December 2013. Moreover, the BJP won all the eight assembly segments falling under Jhalawar parliamentary constituency.
Going by these factors, it is not that difficult to know which way the wind is blowing.
While the political environs are favourable to Dushyant Singh, he has not delivered in some key areas of social welfare.
He was unable to set up any industry, especially an agro-food processing unit despite a rich horticulture production in the constituency, and by extension failed to generate more jobs.
Also, Dushyant did not succeeded in improving the poor state of the Kota-Jhalawar highway (NH-12).
Jhalawar had seen the establishment of major development projects such as the construction of a medical college, a mini secretariat and the Kali Sindh Thermal Power Station in Dushyant’s first term as MP from 2004 to 2009 when his mother was in power in Rajasthan. But the constituency did not see the same vigour in the development front in his second term. Dushyant blames it on the step-motherly treatment meted out to Jhalwar by the successive Congress-led state government and the Union government.