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4:08 am - Tuesday November 21, 2017

BJP confident in Rajasthan as Sachin Pilot develops cold feet

By Nirendra Dev

The BJP is confident of doing well in the ensuing bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan as the Congress state unit chief Sachin Pilot has allegedly developed cold feet and is “shying” from contesting the Ajmer elections.

“Sachin Pilot has represented Ajmer and was a Union Minister. So why is he shying? ‘Moreover, the Congress party has said there is a wave in its favour. In such a case, why they are leaving the battle field?,” said a key BJP leader involved in Rajasthan poll strategies.

The fact of the matter is, the source said, the BJP will do well both in the by-polls expected within next two months and also in 2018 assembly polls. “The Congress has developed cold feet and it is reflected in Sachin Pilot’s hesitation,” he said.

Senior Congress leader Mohan Prakash said the party is certainly giving due importance to the by-polls including in Ajmer but any talk about candidates now is only “kite flying”. “We are keeping close watch on these by-elections. After victory in Gurdaspur by-poll, the Congress party is enthusiastic.

These polls would be very significant. ‘The outcome in these polls will help or guide parties including Congress to strategise the methodology for the battle for 2019,” Mohan Prakash told UNI. The BJP is not taking the by-polls lightly either even as the dates are for the polls are yet to be announced.

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is herself overseeing the election process and the campaign strategies. She is in fact taking regular inputs from the “local legislators” in the two parliamentary constituencies. In all likelihood, the by-polls will now be held only in January next year after the election process in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

The by-polls for the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies and Mandalgarh assembly seat are being taken as referendum on the performance of the Vasundhara Raje government, which came power in 2013 by recording a convincing victory. Next year, BJP yet again repeated its success story and won all parliamentary seats.

A senior Congress leader from Dudu assembly segment (under Ajmer) and a former state Minister reportedly met senior Congress leaders at AICC Headquarter and impressed upon the need to persuade Mr Sachin Pilot to contest the election from Ajmer.

“If he is hesitant and does not contest; we will be giving wrong signals to the voters in Rajasthan,” a Rajasthan Congress leader said but added, no final decision has been taken on the Congress nominee from Ajmer. The prestigious Ajmer parliamentary seat had fallen vacant after the sitting lawmaker Sanwarlal Jat died.

Mr Jat had trounced Mr Pilot in 2014 Parliamentary polls. The Chief Minister has been touring Ajmer area extensively and trying to retain saffron party’s grip over the constituency especially after much turmoil over demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax.

The seat has more than over three lakh scheduled castes voters, 2.5 lakh Jats and about 2 lakh Muslims among others. “The request from the Dudu Congress leaders for fielding Sachin Pilot has purpose as among the eight assembly segments in Ajmer Lok Sabha constituency, Dudu can give Congress a sizeable lead to make the difference,” the party leader said.

The by-election has been necessitated for Alwar seat in Rajasthan as sitting BJP member Mahant Chand Nath also expired recently. Elections are also to be held in key seats in states including Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal.

The Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat vacated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Phulpur by his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya would also go the polls.

“Sachin Pilot has represented Ajmer and was a Union Minister. So why is he shying? ‘Moreover, the Congress party has said there is a wave in its favour. In such a case, why they are leaving the battle field?,” said a key BJP leader involved in Rajasthan poll strategies. The fact of the matter is, the source said, the BJP will do well both in the by-polls expected within next two months and also in 2018 assembly polls.

These polls would be very significant. ‘The outcome in these polls will help or guide parties including Congress to strategise the methodology for the battle for 2019,” Mohan Prakash told UNI. The BJP is not taking the by-polls lightly either even as the dates are for the polls are yet to be announced. 

Posted in: Editorial

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