Dholpur bypoll: BJP, Congress running neck and neck

Dholpur bypoll: BJP, Congress running neck and neck

Dholpur bypoll: BJP, Congress running neck and neck

 The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Opposition Congress are running neck and neck in the bypoll for the Dholpur Assembly constituency in Rajasthan.

The 15 candidates in the fray would end their campaigning on Friday and the Assembly segment would vote on April 9.

The bypolls would be an acid test for both Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and state Congress president Sachin Pilot.

The power equation would be tilted against the Chief Minister if the BJP loses, as supporters of Rajya Sabha MP Om Mathur could ask him to be projected as the CM candidate in the 2018 polls.

Should the Congress lose, Sachin Pilot would come under fire from many Jat, Rajput and OBC leaders within the Congress party, including former chief minister Ashok Gehlot who still has considerable following in the state’s western region.

Dholpur constituency fell vacant after its BSP MLA B L Kushwaha lost his position due to his conviction in a murder case. While the BJP fielded the jailed leader’s wife Shobha Rani Kushwaha, the Congress nominated senior leader and former minister Banwari Lal Sharma, a four-time MLA from Dholpur.

Shobha Rani, whose husband remains one of the most popular leaders in Dholpur, joined the BJP in February. Being the home turf of Vasundhara Raje, the party is leaving no stone unturned to ensure Shobha’s victory.

“We will win on the basis of work done here and on our development agenda,” state BJP unit president Ashok Parnami told Deccan Herald.

Following Congress complaint, the Election Commission transferred former MLA Kushwaha from Dholpur to Ganganagar jail.

The grand old party has accused the ruling dispensation of misusing official machinery.  In 2013, BL Kushwaha defeated Banwari Lal Sharma by 9,000 votes.