Jaipur: The Congress has set the stage for a prestige battle in Jhalrapatan seat, fielding ex-BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh against Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
Manvendra is among 32 names announced by the Congress in its second list of candidates for Rajasthan assembly elections.
Manvendra, MLA from Sheo in Barmer district, had quit the BJP last month and joined the Congress. He had accused the BJP’s top leadership of ill-treating his father, who has been in a coma for the last few years. Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar district has been sending Raje to the Assembly since 2003.
Jaswant Singh had contested the last Lok Sabha elections from Barmer as an Independent and lost. The decision to contest against the official BJP candidate ended his four-decade association with the saffron party.
Reacting to Manvendra's candidature, Raje said the Congress fielded him as it could not find any other candidate. "The Congress could not find any candidate and he (Manvendra Singh) was to be given ticket from somewhere and therefore, he was sent here (Jhalrapatan)," Raje said addressing the public after filing her nomination papers in Jhalawar district. "But they should know that it is not a fight of one person, this is a contest fought by Jhalawar and Rajasthan, which is a family," she said.
The Congress’ second list was released on Saturday by party general secretary and in-charge of Rajasthan Mukul Wasnik. The opposition party had declared 152 candidates in the first list on Thursday night, in which it fielded both its chief ministerial aspirants — Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
While two-time Chief Minister Gehlot is contesting from his traditional Sardarpura seat, Pilot is in the fray from Tonk. The party has also fielded former Union ministers CP Joshi and Girija Vyas for the Nathdwara and Udaipur Assembly seats, respectively.
The BJP has, meanwhile, released a third list of eight candidates for the Rajasthan elections. The party has fielded minister Surendra Pal Singh from Karanpur. The BJP has so far declared 170 out of total 200 candidates.
Polls for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly will be held on December 7 and the results will be declared on December 11.