Ahead of Rajasthan polls, Congress declared its 152 contestants for the electoral battle of the Royal state. According to sources, after several discussions during Central Election Committee meeting in New Delhi, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) Chief Sachin Pilot, will contest from Tonk and Congress General Secretary Ashok Gehlot will contest the polls from his home constituency of Sardarpura.
Facing a litmus test ahead of the 2018 assembly polls in the state, the major opposition party, Congress is leaving no stone unturned particularly with fielding candidates in strongholds of BJP in the state. Following which, Tonk is expected to witness a healthy electoral battle.
Anti-incumbency: A major factor against BJP
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) holds a considerable amount of support in Tonk, but due to evident anti-incumbency in the state, BJP is likely to face heat among the voters, sources claimed. BJP would not be able to utilize the massive support of RSS in the Tonk, as Vasundhara Raje led Rajasthan government is facing resentments over the various issues.
Apart from anti-incumbency, development is a major concern for Tonk residents. Tonk does not have a railway station, which is getting delayed for several years.
During a recent Tonk visit, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje stated that “I have met at least 40 politicians for this railway line. For them, it is just a poll promise that they never intend to keep”.
Why Tonk could be a difficult battle for Sachin Pilot?
The road for Sachin Pilot in Tonk is not going to be easy, as State Congress Chief is contesting assembly elections for the first time. Tonk is considered as the stronghold of Bhartiya Janta Party. During 2013 assembly elections, Malpura, Niwai, Tonk and Deoli-Uniara all the four constituencies of Tonk district were clean swept by BJP. Tonk has a Muslim population of 65,000 in the city and 35,000 members of Gurjar community lived in the rural areas, both these communities play a vital role in deciding the fate of the electoral battle of Tonk. According to sources, it may not be as easy for Congress this time as the party has fielded a Hindu face, as earlier several times Congress fielded mostly Muslim candidates from Tonk.