The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have announced the names of candidates for the by-elections to be held on two assembly seats in Rajasthan. BJP has fielded Himmat Singh Jhala from the Vallabhnagar assembly seat in Udaipur district, and Khet Singh Meena for the Dhariawad assembly seat of Pratapgarh. Polling was necessitated in the two seats after the demise of Congress MLA Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (Vallabhnagar) and BJP MLA Gautam Lal Meena (Dhariawad). Bypolls will be held on October 30 while counting of votes will be done on November 2.
The Congress has named Shaktawat’s wife Preeti Shaktawat from Vallabhnagar, and gave ticket to Nagraj Meena in Dhariawad. The last date to file nominations is October 8, Friday.
The by-election is seen as a matter of prestige for both the Congress and the BJP. The BJP is entering the bout by terming the Ashok Gehlot government as a “failure” while the Congress is asking for votes on the basis of its work of two and a half years. The upcoming by-elections have become a tough race for both parties as they are trying hard to retain their respective constituencies.
Congress and BJP don’t just have to fight each other, but other smaller regional parties as well. The Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) is believed to have a sizable presence in the Mewar region which covers both Pratapgarh and Udaipur districts. BTP emerged as a dark horse after it won two assembly seats in the 2018 Rajasthan assembly elections despite the fact that it was its debut.
Lok Sabha MP Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party is also expected to announce its candidates for the bypolls.