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Rajasthan polls: BJP, Congress leaders dissent against parties after release of candidate list

Jaipur: After the declaration of candidate lists, both BJP and Congress are facing dissidence from those who failed to make the cut.

While BJP is facing protests in over 10 seats out of the total 124 seats declared till now, Congress is facing trouble in over six seats, out of the 76 candidates announced so far.

In Jaipur’s Malviya Nagar constituency, Congress has placed its bet on Archana Sharma, despite her losing in 2013 and 2018.

Naturally, there is resentment amongst other aspirants. Mahesh Sharma, a Congress leader and chairman of the Vipra Welfare Board, resigned from the post in protest against the ticket distribution.

A prestigious constituency with high-rises, glitzy shopping malls, and urban, elite voters and a high voter turnout, Malviya Nagar is considered a BJP stronghold. BJP leader and former minister Kalicharan Saraf won the seat in 2008, 2013 and 2018.

Archana Sharma, however, toldDeccan Herald: “It is true I lost in 2013 but then all others also lost because of the Narendra Modi wave then. In 2013, Saraf won by a margin of 48,718 votes. But in 2018, I got 70,000 votes, and lost by just 1704 votes. Malviya Nagar is a very difficult constituency and BJP-inclined one. But even then I lost by a small margin. Why is there resentment against my candidature? I have worked so hard in this constituency, held yatras and got Rs 14 crore work sanctioned in the area. So many surveys have been conducted and all have been in my favour. I will reach out to those who are against me.”

Congress is also facing rebellion in Bikaner West. Here the ticket has been given to minister B D Kalla, who won in 2018. Congress leader Raj Kumar Kiradoo has resigned from membership of Vipra Kalyan Welfare Board, protesting that the same person is being given the ticket for so many years. He asked when will the real workers be fortunate enough to get a ticket. Amidst the brewing resentment, there is a chance of Congress’s vote share getting affected.

There have been protests from BJP leader Mahavir Ranka after Bikaner princess Siddhi Kumari got a ticket for Bikaner East.

Dungarpur, known as a Congress stronghold, is also facing rebellion after sitting MLA Ganesh Ghogra got the ticket this time. Poll observers say internal factionalism may affect the Congress vote bank.

BJP is facing more rebellion than Congress. Although there have been 7 MPs in BJP’s first list, there are none in the second list, perhaps keeping the open rebellion and discontent amongst the workers in mind.

The Chittorgarh seat has been given to Narpat Singh Rajvi, 70, who is the son-in-law of former vice -president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. He was not given the ticket from Jaipur’s Vidyadhar Nagar, from where he is the sitting MLA. After BJP reposed faith in Rajsamand MP and erstwhile Jaipur princess Diya Kumari, Rajvi is said to have been sulking. He had even refused to move to Chittorgarh.

Chittorgarh sitting MLA Chandrabhan Aakya is now angry. He toldDeccan Herald, “I am waiting for the party to announce the entire list. I am still hopeful. I am 100% sure I will fight the elections. I have worked hard in the region and the party knows that. I have faith in my party, which rewards hard-working people.”

Analysts say BJP may lose ground if Aakya decides to fight as an Independent.

In Jaipur’s Jhotwara, supporters of Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, former MLA can pose problems. He won the seat in 2008 and 2013. In 2018, he lost but garnered 1.16 lakh votes. This time he has been replaced by Jaipur (rural) MP,Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Shekhawat is a Raje loyalist and a former minister. Rathore, who is facing protests on his campaign trail, has been offering sweets to his dissenters.

In Jaipur’s Sanganer, another Raje aide and sitting MLA Ashok Lahoti, has been dropped for the moment. He won by 35000 votes in 2018. This is considered a BJP stronghold. His supporters were in a rebellious mood and protested in front of the BJP office.

BJP’s oldest MLA from Soorsagar constituency, 85-year -old Suryakant Vyas was dropped as was being speculated. She has been replaced by former city president Devendra Joshi. After she praised Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for sanctioning Rs 4.75 crore for revive Pushkarna community’s Kuldevi temple, she came in for criticism from Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat saying she was acting like a child.

There is displeasure in Rajsamand constituency after Dipti Kiran Maheshwari secured the ticket. She is the sitting MLA from Rajsamand. She is the daughter of late Kiran Maheswari, a former MLA from Rajsamand and MP from Udaipur, who passed away in 2020 due to Covid. Dipti was given the ticket in a bypoll which she managed to win by only 5000 votes. Protesters say why does BJP repose faith in only one family and what about the workers.

BJP state president C P Joshi, however, played down the protests saying the candidates have been selected in a collective decision and such protests are routine and all of those, who are angry now, would soon be pacified.

(Published 25 October 2023, 11:59 IST)

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