Fate of 134 candidates to be decided in 12 Lok Sabha seats of Rajasthan today
Jaipur: Two former Olympians, one former IAS and one former IPS officer, and two seers are among the 134 candidates whose fate will be decided by voters in Rajasthan's 12 Lok Sabha seats that will go to the polls on Monday.
Of the 12 seats where polling will take place from 7 am to 6 pm, Jaipur Rural, Bikaner, Dausa and Alwar are some of the keenly-watched constituencies.
Former Olympians Rajyawardhan Rathore and Krishna Poonia have locked horns in the Jaipur Rural seat, where sitting MP Rathore is banking on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi factor. The BJP nominee has underlined national security as a key issue during campaigning, whereas Congress MLA Poonia has questioned the works done by Rathore in the constituency in her campaign. The seat, which former Army officer Rathore had won with a margin of 3.32 lakh votes in 2014, is dominated by Jats. Thus, the caste equation is favourable for Poonia, who hails from the community.
In Bikaner, Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Arjun Ram Meghwal is facing a tough fight from his cousin, Congress candidate Madangopal Meghwal.
Arjun Ram Meghwal is a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, while Madangopal Meghwal is a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. From Nagaur, founder of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) Hanuman Beniwal is in the fray against Congress candidate and former MP Jyoti Mirdha. The RLP is an ally of the BJP. Beniwal was himself in the saffron party earlier.
Mirdha, who comes from an influential family of politicians, had won the seat in 2009 but in 2014, he had lost to BJP's C R Chaudhary, who went on to become a Union minister.
A Congress bastion, Nagaur was represented in the Lok Sabha by Jyoti Mirdha's grandfather and prominent Jat leader Nathuram Mirdha for six times since 1971. Two seers -- Sumedhanand Saraswati and Baba Balaknath -- are contesting the polls from Sikar and Alwar respectively. Both are from the BJP and Sumedhanand is the sitting MP from Sikar.