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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Congress reassesses candidates on 10 LS seats in Rajasthan

Congress’ move to reassess candidates on 10 Lok Sabha seats comes after 12 independent MLAs extended their support and six other leaders of different political parties joined it as associate members in the presence of AICC president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Mar 28, 2019 15:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
The Rajasthan Congress office in Jaipur.
The Rajasthan Congress office in Jaipur.(HT File Photo )
         

With about a dozen independent MLAs extending support and six other leaders recently joining Congress in Rajasthan, the party is now reassessing candidates on around 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

While the screening committee has started brainstorming sessions at party’s ‘War Room’ in New Delhi, the central election committee (CEC) — headed by Rahul Gandhi — is likely to meet again on Thursday. The last CEC meet was held on March 22 at 10 Janpath, New Delhi.

On Tuesday, 12 independent MLAs had extended their support and six joined Congress as associate members in the presence of AICC chief Rahul Gandhi in Jaipur. Six-time MLA and former BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari, former BJP minister Surrendra Goyal, Janardhan Gehlot, ex-state president of BSP Dungar Ram Gedar, Jaipur zila pramukh Mool Chand Meena, Jaipur mayor Vishnu Dutt Sharma (Lata) and Pusaram Godara joined Congress.

“The party is required to field prominent faces and senior leaders on around 10 seats to win Lok Sabha elections. The independent MLAs will help Congress with their support base on ground and strengthen party prospects in the Lok Sabha elections,” said a senior leader on condition of anonymity. He said the idea of bringing independents together was made by chief minister Ashok Gehlot, and it was supported by CEC leadership, stating that this way there will not be any concern to the government, if senior leaders or MLAS contest LS polls.

Congress is considering fielding MLAs from LS seats such as Jaipur, Ajmer, Jaipur-rural, Pali, Tonk-sawai Madhopur, Banswara-dungarpur, Karauli-dholpur and Bhilwara.

Meanwhile, after Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) chief Hanuman Beniwal held closed-door meetings with Gehlot and deputy CM Sachin Pilot few days ago, there have been speculations that Congress is looking for a pre-poll alliance. Sources claim that Beniwal has been asked to support party candidates in Nagaur, Barmer and Pali LS seats in Shekhawati and western Rajasthan. RLP — in its debut in 2018 assembly poll in December — had emerged as the fourth biggest party with a vote share of 2.4% (856,038 votes) after Congress (39.3%), BJP (38.8%) and BSP (4%).

The RLP had fielded 57 candidates, of which, three won on Khinvsar and Merta in Nagaur, and Bhopalgarh in Jodhpur. Its candidates stood second on Baytu (Barmer) and Jayal (Nagaur) assembly constituencies.

Also Read | Lok Sabha elections 2019: Here is all you need to know about Rajasthan

First Published: Mar 28, 2019 15:21 IST