Vasundhara returns to power in grand style

Vasundhara returns to power in grand style

Jhalawar, the high profile constituency of former Chief Minister and state BJP president Vasundhara Raje is now synonymous with her.  She is a five time MP and two time  MLA from here.

Raje after filing her  nomination on Nov 12 has not devoted  much   time in the constituency as she has been  criss crossing the state spearheading the party campaign. In her absence her MP son Dushyant Singh and daughter in law Niharika Singh handles the her campaign. Yes, the BJP here only prepared to talk about  her margin of victory as they perceive  her win is  a foregone conclusion.

BJP district general secretary Sanjay Jain Thau who is  sitting pretty  along with a bunch of  leaders at the party office, in contrast to an empty Congress office, says: “Madam had only four meetings in the constituency till now. We were told that there will be a road show on Nov 29 at Raipur, Jhalawar and Jhalarapatan before the campaign  concludes . But we are awaiting confirmation.”  He counts her achievements in the constituency for the perceived over confidence.  "Jhalawar is the first district headquarters in the state to have a medical college.

The mini secretariat , airport, stadium, science park, police training centre, thermal power station, highways, railway line. “The list goes on . Another leader adds '' when Sonia Gandhi came to Kota for campaigning her plane landed here in the airport and proceeded on a helicopter to Kota. Even Kota, a divissional headquarter, do not have the facilities which we have here and the credit goes to Raje.”

Even Congress supporters  conced that she had done a lot for the constituency and special treatment to the constituency  after she become the chief minister in 2003. Rajesh Gujjar , a Congress man and the sarpanch of Govardhanpura panchayat says  “when it comes to Raje, there is no politics for the people here. People enjoys the VIP status of the constituency and appreciate the development works done here.”

The Congress has put up a local leader Meenakshi Chandrawat, a Rajput  from here.  But the odds are stacked against her as she is taking on a former chief minister and future chief minister prospects.  Meenakshi,  a youth leader who rose through  the the ranks of NSUI and youth Congress had started her electoral politics in 1998  contesting from adjoining    Khanpur seat.

She  tasted victory in her very first attempt  but had to face two consecutive  defeats   from the same constituency. So she  has been shifted to Jhalawar this time. BJP leaders claim that Meenakshi  was nominated  as none of the other Congress leaders were prepared  to  contest against Raje and spoil their political prospects. 

The Congress had fielded Rama Pilot, wife of Rajesh Pilot  in 2003 and a one time MLA  Mohanlal Rathore in 2008  but they could not match Raje and  only the margin of vicotry increased over 27,000 to 32,000. The Congress who is focusing on the rural areas harps on Raje' s long absence from the constituency while she was in the opposition.

Talking to Deccan Herald Meenakshi  said “Raje  was not seen  in the constituency after she was elected from  here . She could not even fully utilise the MLA fund .The people are very angry with her.” 

One of the Congress leaders in the area had filed a “missing report” at the police station to embarrass her.

Meenakshi is pinning her hopes on the pro poor  welfare schemes like Re 1 kg wheat , free medicine, pension,  etc of Gehlot government to romp home and over 40,000 strong  Muslim votes to her side. But it seems a Herculian task.  

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