It's prestige issue for BJP, Cong in Suratgarh

It's prestige issue for BJP, Cong in Suratgarh

The byelection for the Suratgarh constituency in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan has become a matter of prestige for the ruling BJP and the Congress.

Each party has fielded its prominent leader from the Jat community, which forms about 28 per cent of voters. The Congress has chosen to repeat Shravan Kumar, who lost the previous Assembly elections, while the BJP has fielded Digambar Singh, a senior leader and former Cabinet minister, though he lost the previous Assembly elections from Bharatpur district. 

With Singh being a “parachute candidate”, the Congress is stressing the “local versus outsider” issue in campaigns. The BJP is trying hard to skirt the issue and woo the voter. “Digambar is a very senior leader who is close to Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

He has also been a Cabinet minister. If he wins the seat, he is likely to get an important portfolio. This is the reason he has been given ticket from Suratgarh, despite losing in the previous election for Bharatpur,” said a senior BJP leader. 

The Congress is also banking on SC, ST, Muslim and Mali votes which form 30 per cent of voters. The BJP is relying on its traditional vote bank comprising Rajput, Brahmin, Gurjar and Vaishya communities (35 per cent of total voters). Jat votes are likely to be divided between the BJP and the Congress.
Both parties are staring at a tough competition. For the BJP, however, it is tougher as party rebel may play spoilsport.
For the Congress, the internal differences about candidate is a big issue. Many leaders, including those in the district Congress committee, opposed the candidature of Sharavan Kumar citing that he has already been rejected by voters when he lost the previous Assembly election by a margin of 50,000 votes. 

In the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the voting percentage in Suratgarh has been very high. The importance  of this seat is evident from the fact that Vasundhara Raje started her election campaign from here on Monday.

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