Parties play waiting game in R'than

Both Congress and BJP are adopting a waiting game in Ratjasthan and none wants to be the first to release the list of party candidates.

According to insiders, both are waiting for the other side to take the first step so that they exploit the weak points of rival candidates.

However this waiting game is testing the patience of prospective candidates who have now shifted to their base to Delhi where the final selection process is on. Going by the indications, no list is likely to be out before October 31.

Party leaders complain that this would leave them with little time for campaigning. With Diwali round the corner, the election campaign in Rajasthan is likely to pick up momentum only after the festival season.

Parties in dilemma

Despite several rounds of surveys, meetings and feedbacks, the parties are still in a dilemma over the candidates’ selection as they are locked in a neck to neck fight.

Though the parties vouch for fielding candidates with clean image, the poll dynamics are not influenced alone by clean image and are instead driven by the winnability factor.   

 “The party is pretty clear that we do not believe in tokenism. We are following the Gujarat model of giving tickets to winning candidates,” said a BJP leader.

 Raje—  who has collected feedback from all the districts during her Suraj Sankalp Yatra and also carried out her own independent surveys — is not ready to take any risk as she has taken on herself the task of winning the elections.

 The onus of party’s poll prospects is riding on her as this could be her last chance to prove her mettle.

 According to the sources, the BJP’s state election committee has finalised the first list of 60 candidates on Sunday and Raje has discussed the same with the national leaders on Monday following which she returned to Jaipur the next day. However, she may not announce it before October 31.

Cong meeting  

The first Congress central election committee meeting chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi was held on Monday and decided to meet again on October 31.

So, it is clear that the party is not likely to announce the list before that.

According to sources, the party also had to take a call on fielding AICC general secretary Dr CP Joshi as, according to a section in Congress, the party wants to project a strong Brahmin leader as an alternative to Gehlot in a bid to bring the Gehlot detractors to the party fold.

 However, the Gehlot is not in favour of fielding Joshi. According to party sources, he is in favour of fielding Union Minister Dr Girija Vyas, another Brahmin leader from Udaipur Assembly seat as the party has no capable candidate to take on BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria.

Girija has defeated Kataria earlier and this will also serve the interest of Gehlot as she is not a strong contender for the chief ministership unlike Joshi. 

Girija Vyas, however, is not ready to take the plunge, sources say.

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