Jaipur, Mar 29 (PTI) In his electoral debut from his father’s home turf Jodhpur, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot will take on Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Vaibhav Gehlot was named in the Congress list of candidates released Thursday night, after speculation in the state that the CM was keen that he is fielded by the party.
The BJP had earlier announced the candidate of Shekhawat, who won last time from the same seat dominated by the Bishnoi and the Jat communities.
The other prominent name in the list is BJP stalwart Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh who will fight on Congress ticket from Barmer. He had represented the constituency in the 14th Lok Sabha for the BJP. When he switched over to the Congress, he was pitted against then chief minister Vasundhara Raje in Jhalawar. He lost to her.
The BJP is yet to declare its candidate for the Barmer-Jaisalmer Lok Sabha seat dominated by Jats, Muslims and Dalits. Both the major political parties – BJP and Congress – have declared 19 nominees each so far for the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The parties have declared candidates for 14 seats.
The BJP Friday declared three more nominees in its second list, including sitting BJP MP Rahul Kaswan from Churu, Mahant Balak Nath from Alwar and Kankakmal Katara from Banswara seat.
The Congress’ first list of 19 out of 25 candidates declared Thursday includes five names who lost the last state elections, an MLA, three women candidates and six new faces. At least 10 candidates who represent the state in the Lok Sabha have also found mention in the list. Congress nominees Shrawan Kumar, Manvendra Singh, Rafiq Mandelia, Ratan Dewasi and Raghuveer Meena lost the assembly election in December 2018, whereas Ram Narayan Meena, who was elected from Pipalda assembly constituency, has been given chance from Kota.
Former BJP MP Subhash Meharia, who joined the Congress before the state assembly election, has been fielded from Sikar. He will face BJP’s Sumedhanand Saraswati.
Savita Meena from Dausa parliamentary seat is the wife of Congress sitting legislator Murari Meena from Dausa assembly constituency. Six Congress candidates making their electoral debut this election include Vaibhav Gehlot from Jodhpur, Jyoti Khandelwal from Jaipur, Madan Gopal Meghwal from Bikaner, Savita Meena from Dausa, Abhijeet Kumar Jatav from Bharatpur Bharatpur and Sanjay Kumar Jatav from Karauli-Dholpur seat.
Former Jaipur mayor Jyoti Khandelwal, who was denied Congress ticket in the last assembly election, has been nominated from Jaipur Lok Sabha seat against BJP’s Ramcharan Bohra. The seat has a significant presence of Vaishya, Brahmins and Mahajan communities.
Ignoring opposition against Jyoti Mirdha’s candidature within the party, Congress has given her a chance from Nagaur Lok Sabha constituency where she lost the 2014 general election. Former ministers Richhpal Mirdha, Harendra Mirdha and other local Congress leaders have been opposing her candidature, accusing her of neglecting Nagaur.
A member of erstwhile Alwar royal family and former Union minister Jitendra Singh has been fielded from Alwar, which is dominated by Yadavs and Muslims. He is seen as a close confidant of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and will contest against BJP’s Mahant Balak Nath.
Others who have been repeated from the 2014 general election are Gopal Singh Idwa from Chittorgarh, Namo Narayan Meena from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur and Raghuveer Singh Meena from Udaipur (ST seat). Former MLA Sharwan Kumar has been nominated from Jhunjhunu where he will face BJP’s Narendra Kumar Khichad. Tara Chand Bhagora of Congress will contest against Kanakmal Katara from Banswara. Rafiq Madelia from Churu will face BJP’s Rahul Kaswan. Congress candidate from Bikaner (SC seat) Madan Gopal Meghwal is a former IPS officer. He had taken voluntary retirement prior to the last assembly elections. Rajasthan goes to poll in two phases on April 29 and May 6.
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