The party had released its first list of 131 candidates on November 11 and the second list of 31 candidates on Wednesday.
New Delhi: Even as surveys show Congress ahead of the BJP in the forthcoming Assembly polls in Rajasthan, the ruling saffron party, that has axed four ministers and 39 MLAs in its two lists of candidates, feels that it “will retain power following factionalism in the Congress”.
The BJP believes that the cadres of two senior Congress leaders and aspirants for the chief ministerial post — Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot — would work against each other, eventually giving an “edge” to the ruling party’s candidates. Polling is scheduled for the 200-member Assembly on December 7 and results will be declared on December 11.
BJP spin doctors claim that shift of party’s Lok Sabha MP from Dausa, Harish Meena, to the Congress “will have no impact whatsoever” as the BJP has Kirorilal Meena, who has a bigger influence on the community than the former. Rajya Sabha MP Kirori Lal Meena had lost to Harish Meena in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP had won 163 seats during the last elections under the leadership of Vasundhra Raje who, many feel, is facing one of the toughest electoral battles.
Though the Opposition Congress had claimed that there is a huge anti-incumbency against the Raje government, her supporters assert that the Opposition’s allegations against her government have failed to get any support from the public.
Even though saffron poll managers sound confident of retaining power in the desert state, they are worried about a high number of dissenters, who have been denied party tickets.
The party has so far announced 162 candidates and dropped 43 sitting MLAs, including four ministers. The party had released its first list of 131 candidates on November 11 and the second list of 31 candidates on Wednesday.
The four sitting ministers who have been denied tickets are — Babulal Verma, Dhan Singh Rawat, Rajkumar Rinwa and Surendra Goyal. Barring Mr Goyal, the other three ministers were dropped in the second list. A total of 92 sitting MLAs have been fielded again, along with 40 fresh faces.
BJP MLA Gyandev Ahuja, who hit national headlines at the height of the JNU controversy in 2016 for his remarks that thousands of condoms were found on the university campus daily, was also dropped in the second list. He represents Ramgarh in Alwar district in the current Assembly.
A total of 15 MLAs, including three ministers, have been denied ticket by the BJP in its second list.