Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018: Minority candidates major worry for Congress

Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018: Figures reveal that on 16 assembly constituencies dominated by Muslims – traditionally Congress supporters – around 125 of 382 candidates who have filed nominations, are from minority, which might act as spoilsport for Congress candidates.

rajasthan elections Updated: Nov 27, 2018 15:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
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Congress President Rahul Gandhi waves at the crowd during an election rally in support of the Congress candidates, in Jodhpur, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. Voting for Rajasthan assembly election will be held on December 7.(PTI)

Besides working on pacifying party rebels in fray for the December 7 assembly election in Rajasthan, top Congress leaders and party candidates started the exercise to deal with candidates who play spoilsport, especially on minority dominated seats.

The figures reveal that on 16 assembly constituencies dominated by Muslims – traditionally Congress supporters – around 125 of 382 candidates who have filed nominations, are from minority, which might act as spoilsport for party candidates.

In 2013, there were 80 candidates from minority on such seats. The Congress candidate’s fate would have changed, if the rebel, other party or independent candidates had not contested. The margin of defeat would have reduced or at some places the Congress candidate would have won.

Constituencies where Congress fields candidates from minority are Churu, Fatehpur, Kishanpole, Adarsh Nagar, Sawai Madhopur, Pushkar, Nagaur, Makrana, Pokhran, Sheo, Ramgarh, Kaman, Soorsagar, Ladpura, Tijara and Tonk. However, after 46 years, Congress for the first time has fielded a non-Muslim face – state party chief Sachin Pilot.

In 2013, maximum numbers of candidates from minority in fray were from Kishanpole (17), Adarsh Nagar (17), Kaman (11) and Tijara (6). In the nominations filed for 2018 elections, maximum are from Adarsh Nagar (39) and Kishanpole (34), and in the rest of the places, the numbers range from one to six.

Congress candidate from Kaman (Bharatpur), Zahida Khan lost to BJP’s Jagat Singh with a margin of 3,357 votes. In the elections, 10 candidates from minority in total bagged 8,207 votes. In Adarsh Nagar constituency, late Mahir Azad lost to Ashok Parnami with a margin of 3,803 votes – candidates from minority received 4,556 votes.

Read: Rajasthan Congress expels 28 rebel leaders including 2 former ministers ahead of Dec 7 polls

Former health minister in Congress government AA Khan (Duru Miyan) was second runner-up and party rebel Fazal Hussain son of former congress minister Taiyyab Hussain contested from BSP, was first runner-up. The seat was won by BJP’s Maman Singh Yadav – he defeated Hussain with a margin of 37,994 votes. Similarly, in another constituency in Alwar – Ramgarh, the Congress candidate Zubair Khan lost to BJP’s Gyan Dev Ahuja with a margin of 4,647 votes – other candidates from minority received 7,790 votes.

In Tonk, Congress candidate Zakia was second runner-up, as the rebel Saud Saidi contested as independent and lost to BJP’s Ajit Singh with a margin of 30,343 votes – the margin of defeat would have reduced if Saidi had not contested.

In Jaipur, minority dominated seats are Kishanpole, Hawa Mahal and Adarsh Nagar. After delimitation, the Congress from 2008 is giving ticket to minority from Kishanpole and Adarsh Nagar but lost to BJP with close margin– infight and independent played spoilsport.

The statistics reflect that had the rebel and independent from minority, which traditionally is a Congress voter, not played spoilsport, the party’s number in the state assembly had been better.

Congress spokesperson and Jaipur district President Pratap Singh said, “These rebel and independents are BJP sponsored. Congress this time is alert and will make efforts that such things do not happen.”

BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said BJP has faith on party candidates and do not need to support any other. “The candidates are selected on the basis of worker and voters,” he said.

For complete coverage of Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018, click here

First Published: Nov 27, 2018 15:13 IST