Thirty-three of the total 200 Rajasthan Assembly constituencies are witnessing a fight between the same candidates of the BJP and Congress who had contested the 2013 state polls. Both the parties have changed their candidates on 43 seats this time.
On the remaining 124 seats, the two major parties have decided to field new candidates. Of the 33 seats, 29 are sitting BJP MLAs and four are Congress MLAs that included former chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
Karanpur seat is witnessing a fight between Mines minister Surendra Pal Singh and former Congress minister Gurmeet Singh, who had lost 2013 election to Surendra Pal Singh with a margin of 3,853 votes, while Hanumagarh seat is being contested by Water Resources minister Ram Pratap and Congress candidate Vinod Chaudhary. Chaudhary had faced defeat with a big margin of 30,487 votes but the Congress has fielded him again and the seat will witness a direct fight between both the candidates.
Former Congress minister Rajendra Pareek is in the fray in Sikar constituency, which was won by BJP’s Ratan lal Jaldhari in 2013 with a margin of 13,015 votes. The seat in Shekhwati region is all set to witness a triangular contest with Rashtriya Loktantrik Dal’s Wahid Chauhan in the race. Chauhan contested the last polls as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate and stood third by securing 29.10 per cent votes.
Former speaker and Congress candidate Deependra Singh Shekhaat is in fight with BJP’s Jhabar Singh Kharra at Srimadhopur, while Chomu seat is also witnessing a direct fight between BJP MLA Ram Lal Sharma and Congress candidate Bhagwan Sahahi Saini. The winning margin of Sharma was 44,473 in 2013.
Jaipur’s hot seat civil lines is again witnessing the same fight like that of 2013 and the candidates are Social Justice and Empowerment minister Arun Chaturvedi and former Congress MLA Prapta Singh Khachariyawas. Similar situation is in Malvia Nagar where Health minister Kalicharan Saraf is in a close battle with PCC vice president Archana Sharma.
“Candidates are same but people will vote for the Congress on December 7 because there is high resentment among people against Saraf who is facing corruption charges and people are inclined towards Congress,” Sharma said.“People want clean leadership and corruption-free government which is focussed on development and the BJP failed to deliver and therefore public is against the ruling party,” she said.
Jayal seat of Nagaur district is also having repeat candidates and both are women named Manju. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has retained sitting MLA Manju Baghmar while the Congress has again fielded Manju Devi on the seat reserved for SC candidates.
Jodhpur’s Sardarpura seat is witnessing contesting between sitting MLA and Gehlot who had defeated BJP’s Shambhu Singh Khetasar with a margin of 18,478 votes. “Gehlot had the only advantage of caste factor. Apart from that, there is no charm of him. He did not work for his constituency and also often remained absent in the assembly. The issue in the assembly remains the same and unaddressed and I am confident that the BJP will win the seat this time,” BJP candidate Shambhu Singh Khetasar said.
On the other hand, both the BJP and the Congress have changed their candidates in 43 constituencies. Thirty four out of these 43 seats were won by the BJP in 2013 but the party dropped them this time and gave tickets to others which made some of such sitting MLAs, including ministers Rajkumar Rinwa (Ratangarh), Hem Singh Bhandana (Thanagaji) rebel.
As many as 2,294 candidates, including 189 women candidates, are contesting on 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan which is going to poll on December 7.