Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge expressed grief over the loss of lives due to cyclone Michaung in Tamil Nadu, and said the states affected by it must receive all assistance from the Central government.
With three more days to go for the assembly elections, campaigning in Rajasthan is at its peak with the ruling Congress, the BJP, BSP, RLP, CPI-M, and the AAP vying each other to woo the voters for the November 25 elections in the state.
Electioneering in the state is scheduled to come to an end on November 23 evening. Though polling was scheduled in all 200 seats, election on one seat, Karanpur, was postponed after Congress candidate Gurmeet Kunnar’s death.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues, BJP leaders including Vasundhara Raje, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress’ star campaigners Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and BSP Supremo Mayawati have been holding one to two election meetings every day in the constituencies facing either one to one, or triangular contests in support of their contestants by making guarantees and promises.
The PM has held 17 meetings out of 26 planned so far, and in the next three days, he will hold a big roadshow in Jaipur, and meetings at other constituencies. Kharge, Priyanka, and Rahul Gandhi accompanied by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, party incharge Mallikarjun Kharge, Sachin Pilot have also been making whirlwind meetings every day.
In its pre-election manifesto, the ruling Congress has given assurance of 7-guarantees besides its ongoing 10 flagship schemes, if voted to power. Yesterday Gehlot assured to provide LPG cylinder to BPL beneficiaries (1.05 crore) at Rs 400.
Whereas the BJP in its Sankalp Patra assuring a strong government, best infrastructure, safety to women, dalit and the poor, free education to girls, a bonanza of farmers’ schemes, and Ladli Protsahan Yojna. Kisan Saman Nidhi would be raised to Rs 12,000 per annum and the LPG cylinder to deserving Ujjawala beneficiaries would be provided in Rs. 450, and about 2.5 lakh government jobs too.
Gehlot, Sachin PIlot, CP Joshi, Govind Singh Dotasara, Dr B D Kalla and BJP’s Vasundhara Raje, Rajendra Rathore, seven sitting BJP MPs and one of the RLP are among the 1875 contestants left in the fray after completion of withdrawal process yesterday for the assembly polls in the state.
Besides the two major political parties, BSP’s 188 candidates, AAP’s 87, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party’s (RLP) 77, Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) 5 and CPI-M’s 17 contestants are vying the election for 199 out of 200 seats (Election on one seat of Karanpur was postponed after Congress candidate Gurmeet Kunnar’s death). Out of 1875 candidates, the Congress has fielded 200 (with one alliance of RLD), BJP 200, Independents 737, BSP 185, AAP 86, RLD 78, and CPI-M three.
Twenty-six ministers including CM Gehlot are also trying hard to return to their constituencies. Seventeen rebels of Congress and 23 of BJP are among other third front parties facing triangular contests on at least 85 seats. Congress has given tickets to contest polls only to 27 women (13.5 percent), and BJP 20 (10 percent). Besides the BJP, all other parties have given opportunity to Muslims to try their luck for the legislature.
Most of the BJP’s star campaigners, including the PM, Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, have been raising the anti-Gehlot bogey including the worst law and order condition, paper leak scam, appeasment policy to shelter terrorists, red diary pages’ secrets, women and girls rape, private lockers, Udaipur’s Kanhaiya Lal beheading case, and corruption scams in mining and other departments.
The BJP also resorted to arm-twisting tactics against the Congress on religion, caste, and Sanatan dharma by fielding 5 sants from Sirohi, Tizara, Pokhran and Hawamahal seats.
Congress leaders are trying their best to defend the allegations made by the BJP star campaigners including the PM and Shah, and Gehlot challenged them to discuss and take up the matters related to the state government’s flagship schemes like OPS, Health Insurance, Farmers’ loan waiver, Women relief in LPG cylinder, free mobile to women, and recently introduced 7-guarantees.
RaGa is constantly hitting the BJP for not thinking of ‘caste census/survey’ in the country. Congress criticized the Central government’s Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax raids and sent a strong message to the public for Modi’s anti-democratic move.
Whereas the BSP Supremo blamed that the Congress and the BJP were the two sides of the same coin in corruption and hurting sentiments of dalits. In probable third front, the BSP, RLP and Tribal Party (BTP and ATP) which are having up to 2 percent of vote share are going to give a triangular contest to the Congress and BJP.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Kirorilal Meena is contending from Sawaimadhopur assembly seat, LS MP of Alwar Balaknath from Tizara assembly constituency, party’s Ajmer MP Bhagirath Choudhary from Kishangarh seat, Jhunjhjunu MP Narendra Kumar from Mandawa seat, Rajsamand’s MP Diyakumari to contest from Vidhyadhar Nagar in Jaipur city, Jaipur-Rural MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to contest from Jhotwara in Jaipur, and Jalore-Sirohi MP Devji Patel from Sanchore.
Raje, former BJP Chief Minister from Jhalrapatan, and Rajendra Rathore, leader of Opposition, are contesting from Taranagar in Churu district. RLP’s founder member and LS MP Hanuman Beniwal tried his luck from Kheenvsar seat.