September 10, 2014 2:13:48 am
Even as the ruling BJP government enjoys a comfortable majority in the Assembly, it is far from taking the upcoming by-elections lightly. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje wants to keep her lead and the by-election to the four assembly seats is being considered as the first report card of the government’s nine months in power.
Four Assembly seats — Nasirabad in Ajmer, Kota South, Weir in Bharatpur and Surajgarh in Jhunjhunu — vacated by sitting legislators who won the parliamentary elections will go to polls on September 13.
While the Congress is set to give a stiff competition to the ruling party, the BJP looks confident in at least two of the seats — Kota South and Surajgarh. In Kota South, Shivkant Nandwana of the Congress is pitted against BJP’s Sandeep Sharma, both new faces. The two candidates are relying on the support of their mentors — former state cabinet minister in the Ashok Gehlot government, Shanti Dhariwal and MP Om Birla, who vacated the seat — with Sharma enjoying an edge over Nandwana.
Surajgarh is expected to be an easy win for BJP candidate Digamber Singh, who is considered to be a part of Raje’s coterie.
In Weir, the Congress appears to be going strong with sitting MLA and erstwhile Bharatpur royal Visvendra Singh and former CM Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot holding fort for party candidate Bhajanlal Jatav.
In Nasirabad, part of PCC chief and former Union minister Sachin Pilot’s former constituency Ajmer, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned. Having lost by a huge margin of 1.6 lakh in the recent parliamentary polls, Pilot has a lot at stake in this constituency.
Raje on Monday addressed rallies in Jhunjhunu and Ajmer supported by a large number of senior ministers and MPs including Mahant Chandnath and Rajyavardhan Rathore.
“We had barely finished the parliamentary elections and now we have the by-elections before us. After this there will be elections to panchayats and municipal corporations. Amidst all this we are trying to do as much work as possible. Last time I came here, I had promised you better water and we have already begun work. If somebody comes and makes allegations you must tell them that they did nothing for 52 years and are now pointing fingers at us,” Raje told a large gathering in Jhunjhunu in support of party candidate Digamber Singh.
In Ajmer, Raje campaigned in support of Sarita Gena and promised better power.
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