The campaign for Rajasthan Assembly elections has reached its peak. Big leaders and star campaigners of all political parties are continuously addressing election rallies. On behalf of BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP National President JP Nadda and Chief Ministers and big leaders of many states are continuously addressing election rallies. On the Congress side, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot have taken charge of the election campaign. Where BJP is contesting elections on all 200 seats. Whereas Congress is contesting elections on 199 seats. Congress has given Bharatpur seat to Rashtriya Lok Dal in alliance.
Where Congress and BJP are contesting the elections with full enthusiasm. At the same time, the position of the third front parties, which claim to change the election results by becoming the third force, seems to be weak. Before the assembly elections, the leaders of the Third Front were making tall claims and saying that the keys to power were in their hands. But looking at the current electoral scenario, it seems that the third front parties are failing to register their presence. BSP, AAP, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, MIMIM, Left parties, Haryana’s Jannayak Janata Party, Bharatiya Tribal Party and Bharat Adivasi Party, included in the third front, had made tall claims to contest on most of the seats before the elections. But none of these parties has been able to field candidates on all the seats in the electoral fray.
Bahujan Samaj Party, which has been registering its presence in the state for the last four elections, has also fielded 175 candidates. Many candidates of this party have withdrawn their names in favor of Congress and BJP candidates or have given their support to them. The party had made Imran Khan its candidate from Tijara. Who took the ticket from Congress at the last moment and entered the election field. BSP state president Bhagwan Singh Baba is making tall claims about the party’s victory but he has no answer as to how it will win.
BSP supremo Mayawati has also entered the election campaign. He has also held public meetings in favor of his party’s candidates in many assembly seats of Alwar, Bharatpur, Jhunjhunu districts of eastern Rajasthan. The biggest crisis facing BSP is regarding the credibility of the party. 6-6 MLAs were elected from BSP in 2008 and 2018. But both the times all the MLAs had betrayed the party by joining Congress. Therefore, people believe that even if BSP candidates are given victory, what is the guarantee that they will remain in the party. In the last assembly elections, Bahujan Samaj Party had got 6 seats and 4.03 percent votes.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party had last contested elections on 142 seats. This time it is contesting elections on only 88 seats. Before the elections, Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had addressed many big public meetings in Rajasthan. But both the leaders have not yet come to Rajasthan during the election campaign. In the last elections, the deposits of all the candidates of AAP party were confiscated. AAP got only 68051 votes.
Nagaur MP and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party President Hanuman Beniwal was making tall claims before the elections. But in the elections, he has fielded candidates only on 78 seats and has formed an alliance with Uttar Pradesh’s Azad Samaj Party Kanshi Ram. Whose president Chandrashekhar himself has lost badly in the elections from Gorakhpur seat of Uttar Pradesh. He got only 7640 votes. Hanuman Beniwal has not fielded candidates against many big leaders including Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Even after getting 46,000 votes in the Sardar Shahar by-election last year, he had returned the nomination form of his candidate from there.
In the last assembly elections, 58 candidates had contested from Beniwal’s party. Out of which three were successful in winning, the deposits of 48 candidates were confiscated. Beniwal’s party got 856038 i.e. 2.40 percent votes. This time, Beniwal himself is contesting the election from Khivasar in place of his brother Narayan Beniwal, who is an MP. Last time in the tribal belt, a new party called Bharatiya Tribal Party had contested 11 seats and won two seats. The deposits of eight of their candidates were confiscated. Then the party had obtained 255100 i.e. 0.72 percent votes. This time the Bharatiya Tribal Party got divided and the breakaway Bharatiya Adivasi Party has fielded 27 candidates and the Bharatiya Tribal Party has fielded 17 candidates. Only 10 candidates from Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s MIMIM party have stood. Whereas before the elections, Owaisi was talking about contesting elections on 40 to 50 seats. There is talk that Owaisi has hardly been able to get candidates for even 10 seats.
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party is contesting on 20 seats. In Dataramgarh seat, his wife Rita Chaudhary has made the election contest interesting by standing against the sitting Congress MLA Virendra Chaudhary from Jannayak Janata Party. The situation of leftist parties in Rajasthan is also not very good. CPI(M), which won two seats last time, is contesting on 17 seats. In the last assembly elections, CPI(M) had fielded candidates on 28 seats and CPI on 16 seats. In which two candidates of CPI(M) were successful in winning the elections. But this time the position of CPI(M) and CPI (CPI) candidates does not seem to be very strong.
Apart from Congress and BJP, leaders of all other parties in Rajasthan like to form a third front. However, there is no coordination among the third front parties also. They are contesting elections against each other. Before the elections, he has been making tall claims of coming to power in the state. Seeing his position in the election field, it reminds me of that lame horse which joins the race but never wins. Today, similar situation is happening with the third front in Rajasthan. Even today, the leaders of the third front parties are not shying away from pulling each other’s legs. Which is emerging as his biggest weakness.
-Ramesh Saraf Dhamora
(The author is an independent journalist recognized by the Government of Rajasthan. His articles are published in many newspapers of the country.)