At a time when a section of Hill based Gorkha leaders have been criticising the BJP leadership over the issue of “Permanent Political Solution” for this region, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista highlighted the need for “Constitutional Solution” for Darjeeling region, in the Parliament today.
The stage is set for the November 25 Rajasthan Assembly polls as political parties battle it out for the coveted win, with its bevy of star campaigners trying to convince the voters by offering them a range of benefits in their respective party manifestoes.
Three more days are left for the campaigning to end in the state where the voting is scheduled for 199 seats. Polling on one seat of Karanpur was postponed after Congress candidate Gurmeet Kunnar passed away.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues, BJP leader Vasundhara Raje, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress’ star campaigners Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati, among others, have been holding numerous poll meetings every day to garners maximum votes for their party candidates.
Modi has held 17 out of 26 planned meetings so far in the poll-bound state, and is expected to hold a big roadshow in Jaipur in the coming days. Kharge, Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi accompanied by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have also been holding whirlwind meetings.
In its election manifesto, the ruling Congress has given assurance of seven guarantees besides its ongoing 10 flagship schemes, if voted to power. Gehlot on Sunday assured to provide LPG cylinder to around 1.05 crore BPL beneficiaries at Rs 400.
Whereas the BJP in its ‘Sankalp Patra’ assured a strong government, best infrastructure, life safety to women-dalit-poor, free education to girls, a bonanza of farmer schemes, and Ladli Protsahan Yojna. The Kisan Saman Nidhi would be raised to R 12,000 per annum and about 2.5 lakh government jobs will also be provided, he said.
Congress’ Gehlot, Pilot, C P Joshi, Govind Singh Dotasra, B D Kalla, and BJP’s Vasundhara Raje and Rajendra Rathore, are among the 1,875 contestants in the fray.
Besides the Congress and the BJP, BSP’s 188 candidates, AAP’s 87, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party’s (RLP) 77, Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) five, and CPI(M)’s 17 contestants are testing the poll waters this time.
Twenty-six ministers will be trying hard to retain their constituencies. Seventeen rebels of Congress and 23 of the BJP are giving a triangular contest in at least 85 seats.
The Congress has given tickets to 27 women (13.5 per cent), and BJP 20 (10 per cent).
Except the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), all other political players in the state have given tickets to Muslims.
The saffron party has so far raised law and order, paper leak scam, appeasement policy to shelter terrorists, red diary row, women safety, private lockers, Udaipur’s Kanhaiya Lal beheading case, and corruption scams in mining and other departments.
Gehlot has challenged the opposition party to find flaws in his government’s flagship schemes like old pension scheme (OPS), health insurance, farmers’ loan waiver, women relief in LPG cylinder, free mobiles to women, among others.
Rahul, on the other hand, tried to corner the BJP over the caste census/survey in the country. He also criticized the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax raids, and urged the people to reject Modi’s “anti-democratic” ways.
Mayawati claimed that the Congress and the BJP were the two sides of the same coin. The third front — BSP, RLP and Tribal Party (BTP and ATP) — having 2 per cent of the vote share is expected to give a triangular contest to the Congress and the BJP on a few seats at least.
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 from Vidhyadhar Nagar in Jaipur city, Jaipur-Rural MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Jhotwara in Jaipur, and Jalore-Sirohi MP Devji Patel is contesting from Sanchore.
While Raje is trying her luck from Jhalrapatan, Rajendra Rathore, the leader of opposition, is contesting from Taranagar in Churu district. RLP’s founder member and LS MP Hanuman Beniwal will fight from Kheenvsar seat.