Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP banks on Devji Patel for third time in row in Jalore seat
Devji Patel, as he is popularly known, contested his first Lok Sabha election from the seat in 2009 and won. He also represented the seat again in 2014.Updated: Apr 04, 2019 16:25 IST
Considering the caste equations and winnability, the BJP has announced the name sitting MP Devji Mansinghram Patel from the Jalore Lok Sabha seat for the third time in a row.
The parliamentary was a reserved for the SC candidate till 2004, but after the delimitation it was converted to a general seat.
Devji Patel, as he is popularly known, contested his first Lok Sabha election from the seat in 2009 and won. He also represented the seat again in 2014.
Spread over two districts — Jalore and Sirohi —Jalore parliamentary constituency comprises eight assembly constituencies, including two reserved for the SC category candidate. About 20.59 lakh voters will exercise their voting rights in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Out of those, 10.83 lakh are male voters and 9.76 lakh female voters. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for the people in Jalore district. It has an average literacy rate of 60%, with 72% of males and 46% of females being literate.
Despite being represented by heavyweights like Buta Singh in the past, Jalore still lacks in basic amenities such as health, education and communication. The rail line passing through the district was converted from meter gauge to broad gauge a decade ago, but it the district is still waiting for daily rail connectivity.
During the 2014 LS poll, Jalore witnessed a triangular contest between BJP’S Devji Patel, Congress’ Anjana Udaylal and independent candidate Sardar Buta Singh.
MP Report Card
Patel failed in fulfilling most of his promises he made during the election campaign. Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election two express trains were announced to the district, but till date the area is waiting for a rail link.
Apart from this, the previous BJP government had announced dry inland port in Jalore. Despite completion of pre-visibility survey, Patel failed in bringing the project.
Work for three mega drinking water projects is yet to start. People of Sirohi district are opposing Patel alleging that he focused only on Jalore during his two tenures.
Vikram Kumar, a local resident, said all major projects are stuck and MP has failed in bringing any new project to the area. “Area is lacking basic amenities like health, education, water for drinking and irrigation. People have to depend on Gujarat for even minor diseases,” he added.
Countering the allegation, Patel said that his prime focus was on ensuring overall development in the area.
He said Jalore has been connected with a rail link from Mumbai. Besides, he ensured halt of Agra Fort and Surya Nagri Express at Sirohi and Intercity Express at Swaroopganj. Government collages have been opened in all the assembly constituencies. Narmada water project worth Rs 400 crore has been signed. A passport centre has opened in Jalore.
Patel said he had ensured implementation of the Master Plan in Mount Abu, which was pending for long. A project under Bharat Mala has also been sanctioned for Mount Abu. A girls’ hostel in Pindwara tribal belt is also a major achievement. Computer lab in most of the schools with his MPLAD budget and electrification of 250 schools in Sirohi are other works done on priority.
Tough road ahead
Though party has put its bet on Patel for the third time in a row, but ground reports indicate he may face tough challenges. He is facing strong protest in Sirohi region. BJP has lost the Sanchore assembly constituency, which is the home turf of Patel.
Patel, who comes from Kalbi Choudhary community may be confronted by another leader of his community, Jivaram Choudhary, who too has strong support in the community and had gone rebel after the party refused him ticket in the last assembly election.
Political analyst Sharad Kumar said that Patel was able to win the 2014 Lok Sabha election due to the Modi wave, but this time there are “very less” chances for him.