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Regional parties influence over 30 seats in Rajasthan

In 2008, when Congress won 96 seats – 4 short of a majority, the party had to seek support of 6 BSP MLAs, who defected to join the Ashok Gehlot-led government.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Aug 06, 2018, 07.53 AM IST
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Vasundhara-Raje-pti
The Bharat Vahini Party (BVP), formed recently by BJP rebel Ghanshyam Tiwari, however, doesn’t seem to have much impact except on a seat or two.
JAIPUR: Amid signs of little progress on alliances for Congress, the significance of regional parties can’t be dismissed in Rajasthan. There are over 30 assembly segments where smaller parties, like Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), National People’s Party (NPP), CPM and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), wield considerable influence. While on some constituencies they are capable of springing surprises, on others they could play spoilsport for both Congress and BJP.

The Bharat Vahini Party (BVP), formed recently by BJP rebel Ghanshyam Tiwari, however, doesn’t seem to have much impact except on a seat or two.

Congress state chief Sachin Pilot has categorically denied seat-sharing talks with BSP. “We are competent to fight against BJP on all the 200 seats,” he said.

In 2008, when Congress won 96 seats – 4 short of a majority, the party had to seek support of 6 BSP MLAs, who defected to join the Ashok Gehlot-led government.
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“Building up on CM Vasundhara Raje’s aggressive Gaurav Yatra, BJP looks to counter anti-incumbency in a few assembly segments. Raje had lost in 2008 but there was no clear mandate for Congress. The situation looks similar.

Congress would need support of smaller parties to stall the rath of Raje,” said Rakesh Singh, a political commentator.

Some political observers fear a Karnataka rerun in Rajasthan where Congress ended up second to BJP despite cornering 38% as against BJP’s 36.2% votes in a triangular contest with JD(S).

“There are at least 30 seats where smaller parties have better chances than Congress. The party should work on some prepoll alliance to oust BJP, which looks to gain ground in coming times,” said Prakash Bhandari, a senior commentator.

In 2013, when Congress was reduced to 21 in the Narendra Modi wave, smaller parties NPP and BSP were able to win 4 and 3 seats, respectively while eating into Congress votes primarily in more than 40 constituencies. NPP had a vote share of 4.62% while BSP could muster 7.6% votes.
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