BJP woos Rajputs as Congress deals with Sachin Pilot-Gehlot tiff
While Rahul is repeatedly portraying a united force, led by the power-duo Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, political analysts feel there is an apparent ‘power struggle’ between the duo’s supporters.
BJP’s campaign is going to revolve around the new slogan –– Jan Jan Ke Mann Se, Bhajapa Phir Se. State election in charge, Prakash Javadekar, said BJP will break the jinx this time by recording a consecutive win. “People have a perception to have an alternate party government. We will break this. BJP “Phir Se” is our motto,” he said. Congress is yet to finalise any publicity strategy, according to chairman of its publicity committee CP Joshi.
Booth Focus vs Rally Focus
BJP chief Amit Shah visited Rajasthan more than 10 times in the past six months, during which he focused on connecting with booth workers. “Shah’s visits have been supplemented with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s visits to Jodhpur, Jaipur and Nagaur where he is said to have activated cadre to work for BJP,” said a senior BJP leader. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi visited four times since August. He addressed rallies at Sagwara, Dholpur, Bikaner, Jhalawar and Sikar besides holding roadshows and workers’ meetings in Kota and Jaipur.
Right Candidate Holds the Key
There is unprecedented rush for tickets in Congress and BJP. Every seat has got more than two strong candidates. Emergence of multiple ‘power centres’ in either parties has compounded the problems. Ticket-seekers are confused as to whom to approach. Congress aspirants are approaching Ashok Gehlot, Kumari Selja, Sachin Pilot and Avinash Pande for tickets while BJP aspirants are meeting Vasundhara Raje, Amit Shah, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Prakash Javdekar. Since there would be more rejections this time, threat of rebellion will haunt both parties. “Amid the anti-incumbency, if retaining last-time winners is a big challenge for BJP, pitching strong candidates is a task for Congress, grappling with glut of aspirants,” said Ravindra Singh Shekhawat, a political analyst.
Congress’ Leadership Tussle
While Rahul is repeatedly portraying a united force, led by the power-duo Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, political analysts feel there is an apparent ‘power struggle’ between the duo’s supporters. “Their unity is visible only on stage. There is a poster war going on during rallies. Gehlot’s supporters use posters and publicity material with little prominence to Pilot while posters of Pilot’s supporters carry his bigsize pictures,” said Ramesh Sharma, a political analyst. “Congress workers are often seen competing with each other shouting slogans: Pradesh ka CM kaisa ho Sachin Pilot Jaisa Ho and Rajasthan ki yehi pukar, Ashok Gehlot Phir Ek Baar. This gives an impression that Gandhi’s unity doctrine has not gone down well at the grassroots,” said another political analyst, Raghuveer Singh. “Gandhi wants to project Pilot as the CM face. But Gehlot is not letting this to happen. There is a big tussle going on in Congress over leadership,” said Prakash Javadekar.
Wooing Back Rajputs
BJP is said to have commissioned five Rajput leaders –– union minister of state Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, state cabinet ministers –– Rajendra Singh Rathore, Pushpendra Singh, Gajendra Singh Khimsar and MLA Babu Singh Rathore –– the task of wooing Rajputs. Rajputs are said to be miffed with BJP over various issues.
9% winners faced serious criminal cases in 2013
In the 2013 assembly elections in Rajasthan, roughly two in 10 winning candidates had declared criminal cases against themselves, seven in 10 were crorepatis and 6 in 10 were graduates and above, according to an ADR report.