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Rahul Gandhi to visit Udaipur after Amit Shah, plans big rally

Historically, whichever party dominates the Udaipur region gets to rule Rajasthan

, ET Bureau|
Sep 13, 2018, 12.06 PM IST
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BCCL
rahul Gandhi Rajasthan
Congress has planned a big rally in Udaipur by party president Rahul Gandhi on September 20, a day after BJP chief Amit Shah concludes his two-day visit of the politically crucial region.

“Rahul Gandhi is likely to come to Dungarpur or at Salumber in Udaipur district where he had addressed a public meeting in 2013 poll campaign,” said a senior Congress functionary.

Congress state chief Sachin Pilot said Gandhi will address a public meeting in Udaipur division, but did not name the venue.

Udaipur division, which has 28 seats spread across six districts - Banswara, Chittorgarh, Dungarpur, Rajsamand, Udaipur and Pratapgarh – has been considered as the gateway to power in the state.

Historically, whichever party dominates this region gets to rule the state. In 2003, when Vasundhara Raje became chief minister for the first time, BJP had 22 seats out of 28 in that region. When Ashok Gehlot replaced her in 2008, Congress bagged 20 seats. The trend continued in 2013 also, when BJP decimated Congress by winning 25 seats.

“There are 16 seats reserved for tribals in this division. Both the parties are trying to woo tribals, who were traditional voters to Congress, till a few years ago. But recently, BJP has encroached on Congress’ base. It will be a tough fight for both parties this time,” said Ram Singh Vishnoi, a political analyst.

Over the last few years BJP's ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been active in this region. It has developed Pratap Gaurav Kendra in Udaipur, which takes people through the history of Mewar and the different phases it went through.

“BJP is likely to gain through the activities of RSS in this region. The Sangh is working closely with tribals in the region. This could translate into votes as well,” Vishnoi said.

Apart from that, BJP has special significance for the Udaipur region bordering Gujarat. The impact of elections results in this region would have indirect effect on Gujarat also when country goes for general elections in 2019.

“BJP would like to dominate in Udaipur not just only to come back to power,but also to maintain its lead in Gujarat. Shah has this in mind. He will be focusing hard to retain, if not exceed 25 seats in Udaipur division,” Vishnoi said.

Shah will be on two-day tour to Udaipur on September 18 during which he will address a gathering of tribals and booth level workers. "He will give the workers a roadmap to the assembly elections,” said home minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who represents Udaipur in the assembly.

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