Four sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs on four of the seven reserved Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan have retained their constituencies, even as the party swept the state by winning all 25 seats.
In Rajasthan, four Lok Sabha seats are reserved for the scheduled caste (SC) candidates and three for the scheduled tribes (ST).
Ganganagar, Bikaner, Bharatpur and Karauli-Dholpur are the reserved for SC candidates, and Dausa, Udaipur and Banswara, for the STs. The BJP repeated its sitting MPs in Ganganagar, Bikaner and Karauli-Dholpur for SC seats, and in Udaipur for the ST seat.
In Ganganagar, the sitting MP, Nihal Chand, who was made a minister in the Modi government and later removed over rape charges, has won again, getting more votes than he got in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. This time, Nihal Chand defeated Congress candidate Bharat Ram Meghwal.
In Bikaner, union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal has won again, though with a smaller margin than 2014. In 2014, he defeated Shankar Pannu of the Congress by 308,079 votes. This time, his victory margin over his cousin and Congress candidate Madan Gopal Meghwal is 264,081.
In Karauli-Dholpur, Manoj Rajoria improved his margin, winning by 97,682 votes over Congress’ Sanjay Kumar. In 2014, Rajoria won with the lowest margin in Rajasthan – 27,216 votes.
In Udaipur, Arjunlal Meena almost doubled his victory margin over Congress’ Raghuvir Singh Meena, a member of the Congress Working Committee, winning by 437,914. In 2014, the victory margin was 236,762.
In Bharatpur, the party dropped Bahadur Singh Koli and fielded a debutant, Ranjeeta Koli, who won against another debutant and Congress candidate Abhijeet Kumar Jatav, by 318,399 votes.
BJP MP from Dausa, Harish Chandra Meena, left the party before the December 2018 assembly election to contest as Congress candidate from Deoli-Uniara in Tonk district. BJP fielded a former MP, Jaskaur Meena, as his replacement in the Lok Sabha election. She defeated Congress candidate, Savita Meena.
In Banswara, BJP replaced sitting MP Manshankar Ninama with Kanakmal Katara, who defeated former Congress MP Tarachand Bhagora, the runner-up.
A new entrant, the Bharatiya Tribal Party, buoyed by its performance in the assembly elections, in which it had won two seats, contested on four seats – Banswara-Dungarpur, Udaipur and Chittorgarh. However, its candidate from Banswara, Kantilal Roat, finished second runner-up.
“BJP won decisively in Mewar in the assembly election and was expected to sweep the region in the general election as well,” said Kunjan Acharya, assistant professor at Mohanlal Sukhadia University in Udaipur. “The BTP’s performance has helped the BJP by cutting into the Congress votes,” he adds.
In eastern Rajasthan, where three of the seven reserved Lok Sabha seats are located, the BJP’s performance has belied political commentators’ expectations. “The Congress was expected to win all three of these constituencies because of its performance in the assembly election but people have rejected the party in the general election. Clearly, people had different choices for different elections,” said Jitendra Rajoria, a senior journalist in Dholpur.
May 25, 2019 09:22 IST
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