’20-20′ between Congress, BJP in Rajasthan bypolls

Rajasthan’s ruling Congress and opposition BJP will deploy 20 star campaigners each for the bypolls in Vallabhnagar and Dhariawad on October 30.

While Congress star campaigners include Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot along with state in charge Ajay Maken and others, the BJP has included former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and state chief Satish Poonia, along with state in charge Arun Singh, in its list of star campaigners.

While Congress is banking on emotional card and has given ticket from Vallabhnagar to Preeti Shaktawat, the wife of sitting MLA Gajendra Singh Shaktawat, whose demise necessitated the bypoll, the BJP has given ticket to a new face, namely Khet Singh Meena.

In Dhariawad, the Congress has fielded Nagraj Meena from Dhariawad while the BJP’s candidate is Himmat Singh Jhala.

Although the decision sparked dissidence among saffron party leaders, the party quickly undertook damage control and Kanhaiyalal Meena, son of sitting BJP MLA Gautam Lal Meena, whose death caused the bypoll, was appointed as party’s state Secretary.

The bypolls are a matter of prestige for both the Congress and the BJP. The BJP is terming the Ashok Gehlot government a “failure” while the Congress is asking for votes on the basis of its work of two and a half years.