Rajasthan election results: In Jhalarapatan, it may not be a one-sided battle
Rajasthan election results: The high profile constituency in Jhalawar district came to the spotlight after the Congress pitched Manvendra Singh, Sheo MLA (Barmer), and son of former Union minister Jaswant Singh against Raje.Updated: Dec 11, 2018 12:06 IST
Will chief minister Vasundhara Raje register her “fourth” consecutive victory from her home constituency of Jhalarapatan or will Congress candidate Manvendra Singh upset her in the battle? Whatever be the outcome of the elections, experts say even if Raje wins, her victory margin may reduce.
The high profile constituency in Jhalawar district came to the spotlight after the Congress pitched Manvendra Singh, Sheo MLA (Barmer), and son of former Union minister Jaswant Singh against Raje.
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“It was rated as a one-sided contest in favour of chief minister Raje till a fortnight ago due to a ‘parachute’ candidate Manvendra Singh. However, it has changed now,” said Narayan Baret, political analyst. With most exit polls reflecting an anti-government wave and a pro-Congress sentiment, the chances of Manvendra Singh have gone up, he said.
Another political analyst who did not want to be named said the projection of Manvendra’s contest with Raje as a war for “self-respect (swabhiman)”, shift of caste equations with Rajputs, Gujjars, Dangi and Muslims supporting the Congress, Rahul Gandhi’s announcement on farm loan waiver plans and anti-incumbency wave may turn around the results in Jhalarapatan. Candidature of Shrilal Dangi, a leader from the Dangi community that has been traditionally supporting the BJP, is also seen as a reason. There are over 30,000 Dangi voters in Jhalarapatan, according to the political analyst
There are around 22,000 Gujjar voters in Jhalarapatan who have also polarised in significant numbers in favour of Congress candidate due to Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot who is a contender for the chief minister’s post, the analyst said. Gujjars were earlier supporting Raje, whose daughter-in-law, Niharika Raje, is from the community.
Gujarat’s Patidar leader, Hardik Patel, also attended a meeting of the community members in Jhalawar to galvanise voters towards the Congress candidate. “However, one cannot Raje lightly as she has been associated with Jhalarapatan for long and has contributed a lot to the development of the constituency,” said Baret.
There was 77.84% turnout in Jhalarapatan in the election on December 7. Raghuraj Singh Hada, former district president, Jhalawar Congress, said Manvendra Singh can upset the prospects of Raje who was BJP MP from Jhalawar five times till 2003. She was also a three-time MLA from Jhalarapatan.
BJP district president, Jhalawar, Sanjay Jain ‘Tau’, described the contest in Jhalarapatan as a one-sided contest in favour of Vasundhara Raje. “Raje will win by a margin of over 50,000 votes on Jhalarapatan constituency and BJP will form its government in state,” he said.
Vasundhara Raje defeated Congress candidate Meenakshi Chandrawat by a margin of 60,896 votes in the 2013 assembly elections.
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First Published: Dec 11, 2018 09:30 IST