Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Narendra Modi Jodhpur Rally for Rajasthan Assembly Election 2013

BJP’s election campaign in Rajasthan concluded on Friday with a rally by Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in Jodhpur, the home turf of chief minister Ashok Gehlot. The massive rally by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate has certainly strengthened the prospects of BJP candidates in the district but fight between both the Congress and BJP has become more intense. Though BJP seems to be leading in Jodhpur district but caste factor coupled with consolidation of minority vote bank in favour of ruling Congress has made the contest interesting.
The fight is so intense that even chief minister Ashok Gehlot’s victory margin may shrink this time as compared to the previous Assembly election. Modi factor has definitely consolidated the Muslim votes in the kitty of ruling Congress but how far it will polarise the general votes will only be discovered after the results are out on December 8.
According to the locals, either it will be around 5 seats to each party or if Modi factor and internal fractions of the party works, the Congress might have to be content with two to three seats in the region. Contest is equally interesting on the three seats in the city which include, Sardarpura, Sursagar and Jodhpur city. BJP candidate Surya Kanta Vyas from Sursagar has an upper hand but maximum young voters of the area see her as a candidate who is very old. The Congress has fielded Jeffu Khan who had lost the Assembly election in 2003 from Phalodi and has not been active in Sursagar. Meanwhile Rajendra Gehlot former mayor and BJP leader has turned rebel which is not only damaging the BJP but also polarising the Mali vote bank. In the area Malis, Brahamins, Minority and ST/SC are in majority but due to Modi factor the Minority will vote for Jeffu which brings him back into the contest.
In Jodhpur city constituency Congress has fielded Suparash Bhandari who has been the chairman of a renowned insurance company. He has been handling the election management of Ashok Gehlot since the beginning and got rewarded this time. He has spent most of his time outside Jodhpur and is a new face here. Anand Bhati who is a pro BJP leader is contesting as an Independent. Earlier Jugal Kabra was also in the race from this seat but has been sidelined as he does not fit in Rahul Gandhi formula. Jain, Brahmin and Minority voters are in a majority from this seat and there is strong resentment against BJP candidate and present legislator Kailash Bansali. This is a direct fight between Bansali and Bhandari, and it is only the Modi factor that might work in Bansali’s favour.
In Sardarpura, chief minister Ashok Gehlot is clearly seen as winning but the margin of victory may get reduced this time. BJP candidate Shambhu Singh Khetasar is campaigning strongly in the area. Minority and Mali voters are the major vote bank here and constitute over 1 lakh votes. Khetasar had long time ago defeated Ashok Gehlot once in the students union election in Jodhpur and he is hoping to repeat that feat.
Luni and Osain are the two seats where Congress is already considered out of race and both Amri Devi from Luni and Leela Maderna from Osian are not in comfortable positions. On Luni seat Rajendra Chaudhary, former health minister in Congress government is contesting as a rebel.
Another seat from the region, Lohawat is a Bishnoi dominant seat and Congress has given ticket to Mala Ram Bishnoi and his old age is a major concern among the voters. However, Gajendra Singh is yet another strong candidate from the BJP is giving a tough fight to Bishnoi despite being seen as an outsider.
On seats like Phalodi and Bilara the BJP has an upper hand and the party is seen as clear winner on all grounds. In Bilara the BJP has fielded Arjun Lal Meghwal the present MLA who is immensely popular among all castes.
While in Phalodi BJP’s Pubba Ram Chaudhary is leading. There is a strong anti incumbency factor against present Congress candidate and present legislator Om Prakash Joshi. From Bhopalgarh seat it is again a tough fight between Congress candidate Oma Ram Meghwal and BJP’s Kamsa Meghwal. While the BJP has repeated the old face, who also enjoys the support of Jat voters, the Congress has fielded a new face. Bhopalgarh is a reserved seat and Kamsa is taking a lead here.
In Shergarh its BJP’s Babu Singh Rathore who is contesting against Congress candidate Umaid Singh Rathore. Babu has been active since past five years and has done a lot of development works in the area but Umaid Singh is the close relative of senior leader Khet Singh Rathore. Babu Singh has an upper edge but contest here is very close according to locals.

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