Jodhpur : It’s a city that contributed a crack cavalry unit that liberated Haifa after a decisive victory during World War I. Now, the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat is bracing for a battle of a different kind that is keeping Rajasthan’s ruling Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on their toes.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has indicated that his son Vaibhav Gehlot would contest from here.
As a result of the “son” rise, Jodhpur, the Chief Minister’s home turf, has become one of the most talked about parliamentary constituencies in Rajasthan.
The Congress has won the seat eight times and the BJP on four occasions. The seat is currently occupied by BJP MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, a Minister of State in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Shekhawat, however, exuded confidence. “If Vaibhav comes to contest this election, this seat will be the most talked about seat in the country,” he said.
“We have already changed the political narrative. The Congress has started following the BJP on mandir, cow and nationalism. Congress leaders too have started chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’,” Shekhawat said.
Meanwhile, all is seemingly not well in the Congress camp given the differences of opinion between Ashok Gehlot and his deputy, Sachin Pilot, who has made known his clear preference for nominating party workers for elections rather than giving tickets to family members of the present ministers.
Pilot made it quite clear that he would not push anyone from his family to contest the Lok Sabha elections and would rather want his party workers to be given a chance to do so, clearly indicating his unhappiness over tickets being given to relatives of Congress ministers.
“The party has given me the position of a Deputy Chief Minister. Now my task is that of a leader and I should extend a chance to other party workers to contest elections. Congress wants good, loyal and hardworking workers to contest elections.
“The party has given such a big post to me and if I start doing advocacy for my family members’ tickets then imagine my party workers’ state of mind here,” Pilot said when asked if he too wanted any of his relatives to contest the polls.
On his part, Gehlot has maintained that his son will contest from Jodhpur, if he gets the party high command’s nod.
The Jodhpur seat undoubtedly has it all: Power-packed drama, politics, suspense, thrill, action and excitement.
Jodhpur has eight assembly constituencies – Falodi, Lohavat, Shergarh, Sardarpura, Sheor, Sursagar, Puni and Pokhran. The Congress has six MLAs and the BJP two.
Thirteen of Rajasthan’s 25 constituencies, including Jodhpur, will vote in the fourth phase on April 29, while the remaining 12 will vote in the fifth phase on May 6.
The day of reckoning will be on May 23, when it will be known who won from Jodhpur — the Chief Minister’s son or Modi’s minister.