Rajasthan by-polls: Close fight between Congress, BJP

Jaipur : The four assembly constituencies in Rajasthan will Saturday see closely-fought poll battles between the ruling BJP and the Congress as both parties are confident of winning.

Voting in the bypolls to the state assembly will be held Saturday in Nasirabad, Weir, Surajgarh and Kota South constituencies and counting of votes will take place Sep 16.

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The by-elections were necessitated as BJP legislators Sanwar Lal Jat from Nasirabad, Om Birla from Kota South, Santosh Ahlawat from Surajgarh, and Bahadur Singh Koli from Weir got elected to the Lok Sabha.

“We are confident of repeating our performance and winning again in these four constituencies,” Arun Chaturvedi, a cabinet minister, told IANS.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje toured these constituencies extensively and held a number of public meetings along with her cabinet colleagues.

In her rallies, Raje talked about the development her party will do in next five years and castigated the Congress for not doing anything for the benefit of the state in the past over 50 years.

On the other hand, in his meetings, state Congress president Sachin Pilot questioned the BJP’s promise of providing employment to 15 lakh people. “In these nine to 10 months, they have done nothing in this reagard,” he said.

“They promised to provide 24X7 power supply, but what is the scene…actually it is very bad,” Pilot told IANS.

“The law and order situation has deteriorated… except for making announcements nothing concrete has been done in the state since the BJP government came to power,” he said.

“I am confident people will not be fooled further and will vote for Congress candidates in these constituencies. We are confident of doing much better in these by-elections,” Pilot told IANS.

Commenting on the by-polls, a political analyst said it would be a “close fight”.

“It looks to be a close fight between the BJP and the Congress,” said political analyst R.K. Chaudhary.

“Winning or losing in these elections will decide the future course for both Raje and Pilot. If the Congress performs better, then Pilot’s position will strengthen, and if the BJP performs poorly, then Raje’s detractors would start to openly criticise her leadership,” he said.

In all, 23 candidates are in the fray. The maximum of nine candidates are contesting from Surajgarh and the minimum of three from Weir.

In the 2013 assembly elections, the Congress suffered one of its worst defeats in the history of the state, winning only 21 of the 200 assembly seats. The BJP swept the polls, winning 163 seats.