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Rajasthan assembly polls: Congress hopes for maiden victory in Kota South seat

The BJP has won the Kota South constituency of Rajasthan assembly since its creation following delimitation in 2008. The state votes for a new assembly on December 7.

rajasthan elections 2018 Updated: Nov 05, 2018 15:07 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times, Kota
Rajasthan Election 2018,Rajasthan Election 2018 News,Rajasthan Constituency
AICC President, Rahul Gandhi meets public after addressing an event in Kota, 25 October 2018. The Congress hopes to wrest the Kota South seat from the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections in Rajasthan.(AH Zaidi / HT Photo )

The Kota South assembly constituency that came into being following delimitation in 2008 has been won by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ever since. The Congress, however, is hoping for its first victory here in the upcoming elections.

Teeming with coaching institutes and hostels, it can be termed the most urbanised constituency of Kota district.

Member of Parliament from Kota and BJP leader Om Birla became the first MLA from the constituency by defeating Congress stalwart and former minister Ramkishan Verma in the 2008 assembly elections.

In the 2013 assembly elections, Birla registered his consecutive second victory in the constituency by defeating Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Pankaj Mehta with a margin of over 50,000 votes.

When Birla contested and won the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 from Kota, bypolls were held in Kota South constituency in which BJP candidate and Birla confidante, Sandeep Sharma, defeated Congress candidate Shivkant Nandwana by around 25,707 votes.

Both the BJP and the Congress fielded Brahmin candidates from the constituency, eyeing a sizeable population of the community members there.

Apart from Brahmins, there is also notable presence of other community members, including the Sindhis and Vaishyas, who have been traditionally voting for the BJP. However, a significant population of Muslim voters in the area has been voting for the Congress.

Only relief for the Congress was the reduction in BJP’s victory margin in the 2014 bypolls. Sandeep Sharma’s victory against Shivkant Nandwana by 25,707 votes was almost half of the victory margin of Om Birla in the 2013 assembly polls.

While the BJP would like to continue its winning streak in Kota South constituency, the Congress is looking for its maiden victory.

“The forthcoming polls will be fought on the basis of the many development works in the Kota South assembly constituency as well as the whole state carried out by the Rajasthan government,” sitting MLA Sandeep Sharma said.

Congress leader and party candidate in 2013 assembly elections Shivkant Nandwana, however, refuted BJP’s claim. “The BJP government has ignored the Kota South assembly constituency where the previous Congress-led government had carried out development works without any bias. The BJP has won three elections here but they have not respected the public mandate,” he said.

First Published: Nov 05, 2018 14:27 IST