Rajasthan bypoll: Congress declares candidates, banks on family members of deceased MLAs

Rajasthan bypoll: Congress declares candidates, banks on family members of deceased MLAs

The Congress party Saturday announced the name of the three candidates for the Assembly by-elections to be held in Rajasthan next month.

In two of the constituencies, which were held by the Congress before they fell vacant, the party is banking on family members of its deceased MLAs whose deaths have necessitated the bypolls.

The Congress has fielded Manoj Kumar Meghwal, the son of Congress MLA late Master Bhanwarlal Meghwal, from the Sujangarh constituency in Churu district.

Meghwal, who was the Social Justice and Empowerment minister in the Rajasthan government before he suffered a brain stroke which led to his death in November last year, was a seasoned politician and had won the seat in the 2018 Assembly elections by a margin of more than 38,000 votes.

In the Sahara Assembly constituency of Bhilwara district, the Congress has fielded Gayatri Devi, the wife of the late Kailash Chandra Trivedi, the sitting MLA from the seat who passed away in October last year due to post-Covid-19 complications.

The Congress has fielded Tansukh Bohara, who is known to be close to Assembly Speaker CP Joshi, from the Rajsamand Assembly seat. Joshi himself is an MLA from the Nathdwara constituency, which is also in the Rajsamand district.

Rajsamand has traditionally been a BJP bastion and was held by senior BJP leader Kiran Maheshwari before her death in November last year after she tested positive for Covid-19.

Bohara will contest the elections against Maheshwari’s daughter Deepti, who the BJP has named as its candidate for the seat. In the 2018 Assembly election, Maheshwari had defeated the Congress candidate by more than 24,000 votes.

Sources in the Congress said that the party has banked on the family members of the deceased MLAs in the hope that the public sympathy factor will work in their favour. The party is also trying hard to wrest the Rajsamand seat from the BJP in absence of Maheshwari, who was the tallest leader of the party from the area.

The BJP has already fielded former MLAs Khemaram Meghwal and Ratanlal Jat from the Sujangarh and Sahara seat, respectively.

The voting for the by-elections in the three constituencies will take place on April 17 and the votes will be counted on May 2.

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