Urban and tribal seats of Mewar have almost remained with power. Whoever wins Mewar is in power. Even this time there is no hope of something different. BJP has been worried over the electoral history that in Rajasthan in every election voters vote for change of power. This electorate history indicates that BJP and Congress rule the state turn by turn and ruling party goes into exile for five years. The other unique feature of Rajasthan elections is that there is no third front – it always seemingly appears during the elections but vanishes soon after.
If the election pre-poll surveys are any indication, the Congress is all set to gain power. The outcome of these surveys are in toeing the line of election history of Rajasthan and outcome of multiple surveys is one and the same. Some pre-poll survey indicate that BJP strength will get reduced to 60-70 seats and the Congress is scheduled to get Sanjivani by winning Rajasthan elections.
Right now, for the tickets, the unabated row is on in both leading parties. Both parties, for the time being are seemingly facing threat from within. The other unique feature seen in Rajasthan is that whoever was leader of opposition in the state legislative assembly, while in opposition could not become Chief Minister when the party is voted to treasury benches. Mewar BJP’s stalwart Gulab Chand Katariya is the person, who was twice the leader of the opposition, but when the BJP voted to power, he had to be content with number two. Well, nowadays, there is no number two in power, and power is centrally controlled and, all powers are vested with the Chief Minister.
This time while danger of losing the elections is looming large as a matter of anti-establishment factor too, the Mewar BJP is facing seize within. The sorrow of the party hass increased many folds – when an old and trusted lieutenant, Dalpat Surana choose to raise his voice and claimed for BJP ticket from the Udaipur seat. Party’s anxiety further worsened, when the Janta Sena of Bhinder announced support for Surana. Janta Sena all set to challenge BJP in Mavli, Udaipur and remaining seats of Mewar. It may not be forgotten that Randhir Singh Bhinder enjoys good rapport with present CM and he could manage to fetch better budgetary allocations and development projects for his constituency, which other BJP MLAs could not do for their respective constituencies.
Thus, inspite of his status of an independent MLA, he enjoys better understanding with Chief Minister, while he is well-known adversary of Gulab Chand Katariya. In last assembly election his opponent and choicest candidate of Kataria lost election from Vallabhnagar seat badly. The equation is clear, Bhinder enjoys close proximity to Chief Minister and bitter relation with Kataria is now in open to oppose Katariya by all means.
As far Gulab Chand Katariya is concerned he is most known face of BJP in Mewar, who knew BJP workers of grass root level by name and has held Home portfolio many times is facing stiff challenge. The inference drawn is loud is clear that Katariya is facing challenge from within. If he wins, the credit shall go to his sheer commitment and affinity, which he enjoys with masses.
The situation in Mavli no different. While the panel of candidates was in making, the local aspirants of tickets including Shanti Lal Chaplot, former speaker of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly have made their intentions clear that they would not accept any candidate from outside. But their voice went unheard and ticket is given to a Sangh favorite Dharm Narayan Joshi. It may be re-called that Joshi contested this seat 10 years ago but lost with a narrow margin. Now, there is uproar in the party and it appears that some local aspirant may file nomination and cause threat to Joshi.
Mahendra K Kothari, Honorary Correspondent, UdaipurTimes