Rajasthan: Seat loss can widen rift within BJP against fledgling Sharma govt

Speculation is rife that a BJP defeat in Rajasthan could cause significant upheaval within the party, especially for newly-appointed CM Bhajan Lal Sharma.
Rajasthan CM Bhajan Lal Sharma
Rajasthan CM Bhajan Lal Sharma

JAIPUR: The exit polls have indicated a comfortable victory for the BJP nationally but in the party’s Rajasthan unit there are growing worries that the saffron brigade will not be able to register the clean sweep which it registered in the state in 2014 and in 2019.

Speculation is rife that a BJP defeat in Rajasthan could cause significant upheaval within the party, especially for newly-appointed CM Bhajan Lal Sharma. In the last two elections, the BJP won all 25 seats in Rajasthan, but the exit polls now suggest the opposition may capture three-four seats in the state, marking a major setback for the Congress, which lost power in the state last winter.

Among the ten-odd seats where the BJP is said to be in trouble, Barmer is a major battleground. Exit polls show a tough fight between Congress candidate Ummedaram Beniwal and independent candidate Ravindra Singh Bhati, with BJP’s Kailash Choudhary possibly finishing third. Similarly, the Dausa seat presents a critical challenge for the BJP, with a fierce contest between Congress’s Murarilal Meena and BJP’s Kanhaiyalal Meena, both prominent leaders from the same community. Additionally, Vaibhav Gehlot, son of former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has mounted a strong campaign from the Jalore-Sirohi seat against BJP’s Lumbaram Chaudhary.

The Churu Lok Sabha seat is another area of concern for the BJP, facing internal strife for the first time. The party replaced MP Rahul Kaswan with Paralympic player Devendra Jhajharia due to rivalry with powerful leader Rajendra Rathore. Kaswan, running on a Congress ticket, has challenged Jhajharia and Rathore, capitalizing on voter sympathy.

Barmer battle

Barmer is a major battle. Exit polls show a tough fight between Congress’s Ummedaram Beniwal and independent Ravindra Singh Bhati, with BJP’s Kailash Choudhary possibly finishing third

Challenge in Kota

Another crucial seat where the BJP is said to be facing a serious challenge is Kota where Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is pitted against Congress’ Prahlad Gunjal. The Churu seat is another area of concern

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