Lok Sabha elections 2019: High-stakes poll battle for bigwigs today in Rajasthan
Out of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan that go to polls on Monday, Jodhpur and Jhalawar-baran are the most important.
In Jodhpur, chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot is making his political debut, taking on BJP’S Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. In Jhalawar-baran, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh is contesting against Congress’s Pramod Sharma.
In 24 days of campaigning, both Gehlot and Raje have spent most of their time in their sons’ constituencies, making both the contests high-stakes battles. Gehlot addressed 132 public meetings and rallies, and 93 of them were in Jodhpur. Raje, who has largely been absent from the campaign this time, held 32 programmes, and 15 of them were in Jhalawar Baran.
In the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections, three big regions of Rajasthan will go to polls – Marwar, Mewar and Hadauti. Marwar comprises Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer and Jalore parliamentary constituencies. Mewar has Udaipur, Banswara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand and Bhilwara constituencies. Two constituencies of Kota and Jhalawar-baran are part of the Hadauti region.
In 2014, the BJP won all 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
In the december 2018 assembly elections, the BJP suffered setback in the Marwar region, winning 13 assembly segments out of the 32 in the four parliamentary constituencies; the Congress won 17 and two went to others. In 2013, the BJP won 29 of these seats and the Congress only three.
In the Mewar region, BJP’S performance has been consistent with 2013 assembly election. The party won 35 seats out of 40 assembly segments of the five parliamentary seats, and Congress had the remaining five. In
2018, the BJP won 22 seats here and the Congress 14. The Bharatiya Tribal Party, a new entrant, won two seats in Mewar in 2018.
In Hadauti also, the BJP continues to be strong. In 2013 assembly polls, the party won all 16 assembly segments of the two Lok Sabha constituencies. In
2018, it lost six of them to the Congress.
Out of the 13 seats going to polls on April 2, the BJP is looking strong on eight and the Congress on three. The BTP may win one and one seat has a contest. In terms of assembly segments won in 2018, the BJP should win seven seats and the Congress should get three.
“The Mewar and Hadauti are Congress’s weak areas. The BJP continues to hold its sway in the
16 assembly segments of the Kota and Jhalawar-baran Lok Sabha seats. But the Congress is likely to win some seats in Marwar. Everyone’s eyes are set on Jodhpur, the hot seat of Marwar and the entire state,” says political expert Avadhesh Akodia.
He adds that Hadauti is Raje’s backyard – she has been MLA from Jhalarapatan since 2003, and her son, Dushyant Singh, has been Jhalawar-baran MP since 2004. In Marwar, Gehlot is Congress’s biggest face. The region is dominated by the Jats. Mewar is primarily tribal with three out of five Lok Sabha seats being reserved for the STS.