EC puts off Rajasthan poll date to November 25 from 23
NEW DELHI: The BJP, which was apparently going strong in the desert state of Rajasthan, has now been hit with rebellion after the announcement of the first list of 41 candidates on Monday. A majority of the dissenters are reportedly loyalists of BJP heavyweight Vasundhara Raje, sources said.
The Election Commission (EC) on Wednesday, meanwhile, changed the date of polling in Rajasthan from November 23 to November 25, citing “large-scale” weddings and social engagements.
The EC said the decision was taken after representations by various parties and social organisations for a change of the date of polling “considering large-scale wedding/social engagements on that day (November 23) which may cause inconvenience to a large number of people, various logistical issues and may lead to reduced voter participation during polling”.
“The commission has decided to change the date of polling from November 23 (Thursday) to November 25 (Saturday),” it added.
The counting of votes will take place as scheduled on December 3, along with the four other state Assembly polls.
In Rajasthan, one of the prominent BJP rebels, Rajpal Singh Shekhawat indicated that he was dropped for being close to Raje. Shekhawat was replaced by Jaipur (Rural) MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in the Jhotwara Assembly constituency. His supporters staged a protest at the Jaipur BJP office on Wednesday.
Another two-term BJP MLA Anita Gurjar has threatened to contest as an Independent from Nagar constituency in Bharatpur. Gurjar alleged that she was dropped for being “close to Raje”. Another BJP leader, Vikas Choudhury, has also risen up in protest for not being considered by the party. Choudhury too was known to be a Raje loyalist.
Feeling the heat, the BJP formed an 11-member committee headed by Union minister Kailash Choudhury to speak to the rebels. The supporters of party leader Mukesh Goyal burnt the party flag to protest against the candidature of BJP nominee, Hansraj Patel from Kotpuli Assembly constituency.
Protests were also held at Deol-Uniara constituency against the BJP candidate, Vijay Baisnla. The protesters demanded the nomination of former MLA Rajendra Gurjar. A former BJP MLA, Maman Singh, also threatened to contest as an Independent from Tijara Assembly constituency in Alwar. The other Assembly constituencies being hit by the dissident activitiy include Vidyadhar Nagar, Kishangarh, Tonk, and Sanchore.