How Independent ‘Rebels’ Queered the Pitch in Rajasthan
The Independents are leading in 12 seats, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Patry (RLP) are ahead in seven and four seats, respectively.
(Image: Network18 Creative)
As the trends continue to trickle in, the candidates in ‘Others’ category seem to have made considerable gains in Rajasthan.
While the Independents are leading in 12 seats, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Patry (RLP) are ahead in seven and four seats, respectively.
In 2013 elections, seven Independents had won their seats from Mandawa, Nawalgarh, Fatehpur, Vallabhnagar, Lunkaransar, Bassi and Khinvsar while the BSP had emerged victorious in three seats from Sadulpur, Khetri and Dholpur.
According to the latest trends, Independent candidate Raj Kumar Gaur is leading in Ganganagar where a Zamindara Party candidate had won in 2013. In the same constituency, another Independent candidate Jaideep Bihani is at second place, leaving behind Ashok Chandak of the Congress and Vinita Ahuja of the BJP.
Independent candidates are also leading in Khandela, Shahpura, Dudu, Bassi, Behror, Thanagazi, Mahuwa, Gangapur, Kishangarh, Sirohi and Kushalgarh.
The BSP has made big gains in Alwar and Bharatpur districts and is leading in Tijara, Kishangarh Bas, Mundawar, Nagar, Udaipurwati and Nadbai seats.
Beniwal’s newly formed RLP is leading in four seats from Khinvsar and Merta in Nagaur district, Bhopalgarh in Jodhpur and Baytoo in Barmer. Beniwal, who has garnered considerable support from the Jat community, is leading in Khinvsar constituency where he is an incumbent.
The CPI(M) is ahead in Bhadra and Dungargarh, Rashtriya Lok Dal in Bharatpur, and Bharatiya Tribal Party in Chorasi in Dungarpur district.
With the BJP-Congress battle set for a close finish, these candidates could play a key role in the formation of the government. Several Independent candidates are Congress rebels who could end up hurting the party in reaching the magic number of 101.
Though the party had made efforts to pacify these leaders, the move failed to get desired results.
Senior leaders like Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot, Ajay Maken, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Avinash Pande, among others, had taken up the responsibility of convincing these leaders to withdraw their nominations.
According to reports, two-time chief minister Ashok Gehlot is said to have reached out to these candidates in a bid to secure a comfortable win for the party in the state.
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