Jaipur: In a significant move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has unveiled its initial list of 41 candidates for the upcoming Rajasthan elections, scheduled for November 23, with the results to be declared on December 3. This announcement comes hot on the heels of the Election Commission’s release of the poll dates.
The first list of candidates showcases a shrewd strategy, incorporating considerations of caste dynamics. Notably, MP Diya Kumari will vie for the Vidhyadhar Nagar constituency, replacing the sitting BJP MLA Narpat Singh Rajvi, who happens to be the son-in-law of the late Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, a BJP stalwart.
Another key replacement is Rajyavardhan Rathore, set to contest from Jhotwara, following the Congress’s victory over Rajpal Singh Shekhawat in the previous election.
Strategically, the BJP has deployed two popular MPs to challenge former BJP ministers who served in the previous Vasundhara Raje cabinet.
The seven MPs and their respective constituencies are as follows: Diya Kumari (Vidhyadhar Nagar), Bhagirath Choudhary (Kishangarh), Kirodi Lal Meena (Sawai Madhopur), Devji Patel (Sanchore), Narendra Kumar (Mandawa), Rajyavardhan Rathore (Jhotwara), and Baba Balaknath (Tijara).
The BJP has made a calculated move to tap into the Gujjar and Meena vote banks by fielding Vijay Bainsla, the son of Col Kirori Singh Bainsla, who spearheaded the Gujjar reservation movement, and MP Kirodi Lal Meena. These communities hold significant political influence, particularly in eastern Rajasthan, where the BJP faced challenges in the previous election.
The BJP’s candidate selection process took place during a meeting of the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC) on October 1, chaired by BJP chief JP Nadda and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Notably, PM Modi emphasized that the party symbol, the ‘lotus,’ would be the focal point rather than projecting any individual as the chief ministerial candidate.
As Rajasthan gears up for the polls, both the BJP and the Congress face the internal challenges of infighting and power struggles within their ranks. The BJP contends with rival factions associated with former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat vying for prominence.
In a keenly awaited electoral battle, Rajasthan, known for its historical alternation between the Congress and the BJP since 1993, will see anti-incumbency as a significant factor. In the 2018 Assembly polls, the Congress secured 99 out of 199 seats, while the BJP won 73.
The political landscape is set for a fierce contest as Rajasthan prepares to cast its votes on November 23, with the outcome eagerly anticipated on December 3.