Vasundhara Raje and Sachin Pilot’s pride at stake

For Ms Raje the challenge is to perform well in the royal seat of Dholpur

Jaipur: After the first phase of polling in 20 seats Rajasthan, the focus has now shifted to the second phase in the eastern part of the state where five seats are at stake. Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her opponent, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Sachin Pilot, would have to lot to answer for any failure in this region.

Ms Raje is an erstwhile royal of Dholpur, which is one of the five seats going to polls. It is the only Lok Sabha constituency where the Congress won more seats in the Assembly elections than the BJP.

Another defeat in her backyard would be embarrassing for the CM especially as the candidates were handpicked by her.

She pulled off a coup of sorts by getting former DGP Harish Meena, who is brother of Union minister Namonarayan Meena, to join the BJP and making him the candidate from Dausa. Former Gurgaon MLA Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria was chosen despite opposition from local leaders for Sawai Madhopur-Tonk against cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin from the Congress.

Mr Pilot too would have lot to answer for because this is the region where his Gurjar community plays decisive role due to its numerical strength. He couldn’t help his party’s rout in the Assembly elections in Bharatpur, Dausa, which he had represented from 2004 to 2009 in Lok Sabha, Alwar and Sawai Madhopur-Tonk. Another poor performance would put a question mark over his continuity leave alone the appeal among other voters. The Pilot family ruled the Dausa seat for three decades. But in 2009 it became a reserved seat and and he couldn’t keep his community’s support intact.

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