In Jaipur Rural: Rajyavardhan Rathore vs Krishna Poonia

Rajyavardhan Rathore will have to face Krishna Poonia in Jaipur Rural.

They have both represented India at the highest level, winning accolades and making the nation proud. But now, Olympians Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Krishna Poonia are all set to fight in one of the most watched electoral battles from Rajasthan.

Both have been fielded by their respective parties—BJP and Congress—from the Jaipur Rural parliamentary constituency for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Congress on Monday night fielded MLA from Sadulpur assembly and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Poonia against Union Minister and Olympian Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. 

Jaipur Rural constituency has 19,33,331 votes with a sizable Jat and Rajput population. Interestingly Rajyavardhan is a prominent Rajput face in BJP whereas Poonia is an emerging Jat leader. Poonia (41) who has been a crowd puller in rallies, joined politics in 2013 and lost the assembly elections from Sadulpur constituency. However, in 2018, she emerged victorious from the same seat by beating BSP's sitting MLA Manoj Kumar Nyangali.

Discus thrower Poonia is the first Indian woman athlete to win the Gold Medal in Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi in 2010. She also completed a creditable six in the women's discus throw in the 2012 London Olympics and contested at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but failed to reach the finals, after finishing 10th in the qualifiers with a throw of 58.23.

On the other side Olympian shooter-turned-politician, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore remains a prominent face from BJP in Rajasthan. Rathore retired from Indian army as a colonel and joined politics in 2013. In 2014 he defeated the then-AICC General Secretary C P Joshi by a huge margin of 3,32,896 votes in Jaipur (Rural) seat. Rathore secured 6,32,930 votes while C P Joshi got 3,00,034 votes.

Later he was appointed as a Cabinet minister with independent charge for Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Information and Broadcasting in 2017. Rathore too is a crowd puller who rose to prominence in sports field when he won the silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, India's first ever individual silver at the Olympics.

Rajasthan will go to polls in two phases. In the first phase on April 29, elections will be held on 13 seats. The second phase is on May 6, when the remaining 12 seats will go to polls. In 2014, BJP swept all 25 seats in Rajasthan. However later in 2018 by-polls, the saffron party lost two seats to Congress.

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In Jaipur Rural: Rajyavardhan Rathore vs Krishna Poonia

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