LS second phase polls in Raj: Two Union ministers, Lok Sabha Speaker, ex-CM Gehlot’s son in fray

Jaipur:  Four Lok Sabha constituencies have become high profile seats in the second phase of elections scheduled on Friday as two union ministers, a Lok Sabha Speaker and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son are in the fray.

The two union ministers trying their fate at the hustings are Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Kailash Choudhary, while Vaibhav Gehlot and Om Birla are also in the fray.

While Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is contesting from Jodhpur, Kailash Choudhary is contesting from Barmer, Om Birla from Kota and Vaibhav Gehlot from Jalore Sirohi.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat defeated Vaibhav Gehlot by over 2.74 lakh votes.

Vaibhav was fielded by the Congress from Jodhpur then, however, this time he is a candidate from the Jalore-Sirohi seat.

The BJP has fielded Lumbaram Choudhary from this seat. It had won by 2.61 lakh votes last time but it has cancelled the ticket of Devji Patel, who had won three-consecutive elections from Jalore Sirohi.

Kailash Choudhary is in a triangular fight for the Barmer Jaisalmer seat. There is a direct challenge coming in from Independent candidate Ravindra Singh Bhati. He won Assembly elections from the Sheo seat as an Independent after being denied a ticket by the BJP.

Further, the Congress has fielded Umeda Ram Beniwal from Barmer. Beniwal joined the Congress after resigning from the RLP. In the Assembly elections, he contested from Barmer and was defeated by Congress veteran Harish Chaudhary by a margin of mere 900 votes.

The Congress is banking on Beniwal due to his huge following in the Jat community.

So, given the triangular contest, everybody is sweating it hard in order to win.

Jodhpur is witnessing yet another tight contest as the Congress this time has fielded Karan Singh Uchiyarda who also comes from the Rajput community like Shekhawat.

So it’s Rajput Vs Rajput on this seat due to which the community’s votes will split and Jats and Vishnois will be the deciding factor here.

Shekhawat got a strong chunk of Rajput votes which was over four lakh in the last election, however, this vote bank will now be divided, said political sources.

In the second phase, Om Birla is facing a tough fight from Prahlad Gunjal from Kota. Birla had won last time by 2.79 lakh votes, however this time, the Congress has fielded ex-BJP leader Gunjal against him.

Gunjal has been a loyalist of Vasundhara Raje and the former CM and Birla’s relations are not very strong.

So now all eyes are focussed on whether Raje will help her loyalist Gunjal.

Further the Congress’ former minister Shanti Dhariwal and Gunjal were political rivals who faced each other in recent Assembly polls too. Gunjal was defeated by a thin margin of over 2,500 votes by Dhariwal.

Dhariwal and Birla share a good bonding and Kota calls them the ‘Om Shanti’ pair. So now people are waiting to see if Dhariwal will help Birla or the Congress’ candidate Gunjal.

In Jalore Sirohi the BJP has fielded a grassroot worker Lumbaram Choudhary against Vaibhav Gehlot.

BJP workers say Lumbaram Choudhary knows the demographics of this region well and has been campaigning on his two-wheeler which, they say, is his plus point.

Calling Vaibhav Gehlot a prince, BJP workers say he doesn’t have a reach in the interiors because four wheelers can’t go there and he can’t walk long distances in the hills.

Meanwhile, Ashok Gehlot, his wife and daughter-in-law are camping in Jalore Sirohi and campaigning for Vaibhav.

Although there is a tough contest on these four seats, both the Congress and BJP are making claims of winning.

Congress General Secretary Swarnim Chaturvedi said that Barmer, Jodhpur, Kota and Jalore Sirohi seats are coming to the party’s kitty.

“There is a tough fight but we are confident of winning these seats. The BJP is scared and so it sent PM Modi to Barmer and Jalore Sirohi and Amit Shah to Kota. Recently Kangana was called to Jodhpur as BJP sensed danger here too,” he added.

Meanwhile Narayan Panchariya, BJP state Vice President said, “We are talking of development in all our programmes because the country will be a ‘Developed India’ by 2047. Voters trust our vision and mission. Hence PM Modi is spreading the message of ‘Viksit Bharat 2047’ among the people.”

“On the contrary, the Congress has been speaking badly of Kangana who will represent woman power in Parliament after winning from Mandi. So people are watching everything. Wait for June 4 when we will emerge as the winners,” he added.


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