Will Ashok Gehlot's Efforts to See His Son Vaibhav Rise in Jodhpur Payoff?
Ashok Gehlot, the current Chief Minister of Rajasthan, was criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party for promoting his son Vaibhav during Lok Sabha rallies.
Congress candidates from Rajasthan: Ashok Gehlot and Vaibhav Gehlot
One of the most keenly awaited contests in Rajasthan will unfold in Jodhpur, where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son, Vaibhav Gehlot is making his political debut. Ashok Gehlot was heavily criticized by the BJP for spending most of his time in the constituency promoting his son. According to several media reports, out of Ashok Gehlot’s 236 meetings in Rajasthan, 193 were conducted in Jodhpur alone.
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Vaibhav Gehlot, a Mali (OBC), is pitted against Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, a Rajput, BJP’s candidate and Minister of State, Agriculture in the Union Government. The seat has a sizeable percentage of OBC voters followed by Rajputs.
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Speaking with News18, Shekhawat had last month questioned Ashok Gehlot on the number of meetings he held seeking vote for his son. He further alleged the Chief Minister has been misusing the government machinery in this election, which is not acceptable. Shekhawat had won the Jodhpur seat by more than 4 lakh votes in 2014.
Jodhpur is typically known to be a bastion of Ashok Gehlot, the current Chief Minister, who has served as CM twice earlier also. He had been elected to Parliament for five terms from the seat between 1980 and 1998.
Interestingly, Jodhpur is the only seat in Rajasthan where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah—both came to campaign. However, Singh downplayed it saying it was just a coincidence that both visited the constituency from where he is contesting.
Addressing rallies across Rajasthan, Modi had earlier hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Ashok Gehlot, saying they are busy promoting their families at the cost of people. He had further added, “these Congress leaders are not concerned about the children of common citizens of the country.”
Predicting a near clean sweep for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan, the News18-IPSOS Lok Sabha Exit Poll handed 22-23 seats to the saffron party, despite the gains made by the Congress in the desert state in Assembly polls in December.
The News18-IPSOS Exit Poll predicted a mere two to three seats for the Congress, which is currently in power in Rajasthan. The exit poll numbers suggest a repeat of BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha performance in the state when the party had won all 25 seats in poll fray.
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