Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP, Congress try to strike caste balance in Rajasthan
The Congress has fielded three women candidates and a Muslim, while the BJP denied ticket to its lone woman MP, drawing criticism from experts that the party has neither fielded a woman nor a Muslim candidate in the list announced so far.Updated: Mar 30, 2019 16:08 IST
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
The Congress and the BJP have tried their best to balance the caste arithmetic as they each announced candidates for 19 out of 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan.
The Congress has fielded three women candidates and a Muslim, while the BJP denied ticket to its lone woman MP, drawing criticism from experts that the party has neither fielded a woman nor a Muslim candidate in the list announced so far.
In 2014, the BJP won all 25 seats in Rajasthan.
The BJP has repeated 15 of its sitting MPs in the in the two lists announced so far. The party axed Santosh Ahlawat, the lone woman MP, from Jhunjhunu.
Both the parties have bet on some new faces, including chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav who is making his electoral debut from Jodhpur.
The Congress’s first list of 19 candidates was announced on late Thursday night. The party has fielded 10 former MPs and a sitting MLA.
The parties seem to be still working on the social engineering in ticket distribution as the Congress hasn’t given ticket to a Gujjar and a Brahmin, while the BJP , none to minority, but still there are six seats left to be announced.
Political analyst Narayan Bareth said both the parties have tried to balance, looking to their strategy and ideology. The Congress has tried to ensure that there should be candidates from marginalised section and one from minority (Rafique Mandalia from Churu). On the other hand the BJP did not give any ticket to minority or woman.
“Congress selection of faces shows their strategy; besides tickets to various communities, they ensured three to women from different sections but BJP is confident that whoever they select will win as they believe in their campaign,” Bareth said.
After over 45 years, a woman candidate has been fielded from the Jaipur Lok Sabha seat – former mayor Jyoti Khandelwal. Congress’s Dausa candidate Savita Meena, wife of MLA Murari Meena, succeeded in getting her name cleared, leaving behind big names. While putting speculations of an alliance Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party to an end, the Congress repeated its candidate Jyoti Mirdha from Nagaur.
The Congress has surprised many with the list fielding ST candidates on general seats – Namonarayan Meena from Tonk-sawai Madhopur and Ram Narayan Meena from Kota. The party has fielded five from ST, SC (3), Jat (4), Rajput (3), OBC (2) and a Vaishya from Jaipur – but no Brahmin, Yadav or Gujjar are fielded.
On the other hand the BJP, which has no women and minority face in the two lists released, has given two tickets to Brahmin, Jat (5), SC (2), ST (3), Vaishya (2), OBC (2) and Rajput (3).
The Congress has once again fielded Manvendra Singh from Barmer. Singh who had left the BJP and joined the Congress was pitted against Vasundhara Raje in Jhalawar in assembly polls, but he lost.
Now, the party trusts his win from the Barmer LS seat. The other leader who had left the BJP and joined the Congress, Subhash Mehriya, has been fielded from Sikar.
Interesting contest is expected on Lok Sabha seats such as Jaipur where first elected mayor Jyoti Khandelwal is pitted against sitting MP Ram Charan Bohra, who won with the highest margin across the country.
In Bikaner, retired IPS officer Madangopal Meghwal from the Congress is pitted against former IAS officer and Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal.
First Published: Mar 30, 2019 15:28 IST