Lok Sabha elections 2019: Olympians face off in Rajasthan seat
Two Olympians, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Rajyavardhan Rathore and Krishna Poonia of the Congress, were in the fray in the Jaipur Rural seat, where polling was held along with other 11 constituencies in Rajasthan on Monday. The voter turnout registered from here was 64.85% at 10 pm.
Rathore, a Union minister who won the silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, is seeking re-election.
Krishna Poonia, a state legislator and a former discus thrower, is hoping to wrest the seat from him. The Congress won five of the eight assembly seats under the Jaipur Rural seat in the 2018 state polls. The BJP won only two seats. An independent won 1 seat.
Rathore, a retired army man, focused on national security and PM Narendra Modi’s leadership following India’s air strike in Balakot in Pakistan in retaliation to the February 14 Pulwama attack. He also focused on Modi government’s welfare schemes like free gas connections to poor .
Poonia’s campaign focused on her background as a farmer’s daughter, who understands the issues in rural areas. She highlighted the BJP government’s failures with respect to Swachh Bharat [cleanliness] and Ujjwala scheme [for cooking gas], among others. She talked about Congress’s poll promises of ₹72,000 annual guaranteed income for 20% poorest families and a separate farmers’ budget.