The ruling Congress faces tough opposition from the BJP in the six municipal corporation elections. The first phase of the polls in the six civic bodies in Jaipur, Kota and Jodhpur has been completed.
In Jodhpur, the first phase of elections saw 62.5% polling in 70 wards. The second phase will be held on Sunday. Jodhpur which used to have one municipal corporation with 65 seats has the BJP in power. Despite the presence of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Congress has won the civic body polls in Jodhpur only twice since 1994 when the corporation was first founded.
The prestige of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is at stake in Jodhpur although he did not participate in the campaigning.
In contrast, the BJP’s campaign in the two corporations was spearheaded by Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat, a close confidante of Union Home minister Amit Shah, has represented the Jodhpur Loksabha seat twice.
In the last elections, he defeated Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot.
Vaibhav is heading the Congress campaign and he along with his father are sure that the Congress will be able to come back to power in both the corporation.
Keeping an eye on Kota polls
At Kota, Lok Sabha Speaker, Om Birla who represents the Kota-Bundi Lok Sabha constituency, has a stake in the two municipal corporations of Kota North and Kota South. In Kota, the urban development minister has tremendous control in the north, while South is controlled by Birla and the sitting BJP MLA Sandeep Sharma.
In the first phase, Kota North corporation recorded 65% polling. Birla has kept himself away from any campaigning as he is the speaker of Lok Sabha. He has issued instructions to candidates not to use his photograph or any content relating to him for the election campaigning.
But Om Birla, who enjoys tremendous clout, is keeping a close watch on the goings-on.
Dhariwal has been aiming to form the Congress board in the North and is backed by a strong minority community.
Jaipur a tough challenge
In Jaipur, which has the state’s oldest municipality, the Congress focused on the Jaipur Heritage Corporation, the election for which was held on October 29. Now the ruling Congress is trying hard to make a dent in the BJP’s citadel, Jaipur Greater.
The municipal elections in Jaipur also have a lot at stake for Rajasthan BJP president Satish Punia, Congress ministers Pratap Singh Khachariawas, Chief whip Mahesh Joshi and MLAs Amin Kaghazi and Rafiq Khan. All of them are MLAs from the city.
The BJP has MLAs Narpat Singh Razavi, Kali Charan Saraf, Ashok Lahoti and sitting MP from Jaipur, Ramcharan Bohra. The BJP claimed that it will win both the corporations.
The Congress has never been able to form its board ever since Jaipur Municipal Corporation was founded in 1994. It was the BJP that always ruled the corporation.
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