Women with same first names fight it out

Rajasthan’s Nagaur district has produced famous leaders such as Congress veterans Ram Niwas Mirdha and Nathuram Mirdha, but the most interesting contest in the district is taking place in Jayal (SC reserved), where two women with the same first name, with qualifications in the same subject and hailing from Ajmer are trying their electoral fortunes.

While Congress’ Manju Devi Meghwal hails from Pushkar and is a post graduate in public administration, her rival Manju Devi Baghmar hails from Beawar and is a doctorate in the same subject. An interesting coincidence is that only the candidate whose first name starts with M has emerged victorious from the constituency in the last four Assembly elections.

The Congress’ Mohan Lal (1993 and 1998), BJP’s Madan Lal (2003), and Manju Meghwal (2008) are the winner here so far. Meghwal, the sitting MLA who has been a minister in the state government, rested the seat from the BJP in 2008 and is looking to retain it.

Both candidates are wooing the Meghwal votes, which dominates the voting landscape here. Meghwals constitutes 24.3 per cent, next only to the Jats (25 per cent).

Since both the parties have fielded Meghwal candidates, the Jat votes here would decide the result. This being a reserved for the SCs, the OBC Jats show little or no interest in the contest. Jayal voted for the Congress in the 11 out of 12 previous elections held here since 1951, which means the BJP’s chances are remote.

The BJP’s only victory came here in 2003, when the Jats shifted their allegiance to the saffron party after Vasundhara Raje’s Parivratan Yatra. Madan Lal Meghwal came out victorious.

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