Rajasthan Panchayat polls: Congress candidates register wins in three out of four Zila Parishads

Candidates of the ruling Congress party registered wins at Baran, Karauli and Sri Ganganagar, indicating that it continues to be popular among the masses in Rajasthan

Representative photo
Representative photo

Prakash Bhandari

The ruling Congress has proved its continuing popularity among the masses by registering a win in three out of the four Zila Parishads held in four districts of Rajasthan. It also proved it superiority over the BJP by winning 19 out of 30 Pradhan seats.

Urmila Jain, the wife of Mines and Petroleum minister Pramod Jain Bhaya, the party’s candidate for Zila Pramukh in Baran district, the home turf of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje won the polls despite the fact that the BJP had a majority in the Baran Zila Parishad. Baran is an Assembly segment of the Jhalawar constituency from which Raje’s son Dushyant Singh is a three-time member of Lok Sabha.

Congress candidates also registered wins at Karauli and Sri Ganganagar. In Sri Ganganagar, where the Congress swept the panchayat polls, its candidate Kuldeep Indora was elected Zila Pramukh unopposed. This Zila Parishad’s seat was reserved for the Scheduled Caste male. Shimla Jatav became the Zila Pramukh in Karauli, reserved for SC women.

The BJP’s Mukesh Meghwal won the Zila Parishad Pramukh’s seat at Kota, where the party enjoyed a majority.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot hailed the victory of the Congress in the four districts where the elections of the panchayat were held. He said that the people had voted in favour of the party because the state government had done a credible job during the Corona pandemic and was also successful in carrying out a vaccination drive in all the districts of the state.

He added that Congress had fulfilled more than 65 per cent of the promises made in the manifesto during the 2018 Assembly election, including the promise on the creation of jobs.

Incidentally, in the Baran Zila Parishad’s election, the BJP won 13 seats against the 12 won by the Congress but Urmila Jain managed to defeat the BJP candidate Priyanka Sharma in the woman-reserved seat by a single vote. A BJP member voted for the Congress candidate, thus clearing the decks for Jain’s victory.

Later, BJP supporters enraged at the Congress victory were involved in stone-pelting at the local MP Dushyant Singh’s office and broke the windshield and of BJP MLA Vasudeo Devnani’s car. Devnani, a senior party functionary and a former minister, was the party’s observer along with BJP MLA Sandeep Sharma.

With this, all the electoral processes in the 33 districts of the state stand completed. The elections for the panchayats were held in phases to maintain the Corona protocol.

The Congress, which got a drubbing in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when it lost all the 25 seats, is now a rejuvenated outfit. In electoral politics, the verdict of the people is what eventually matters and the ruling Congress has shown that it is on a recovery path.

The process of regaining the lost ground started with the panchayat samiti and Zila Parishads polls held in June this year when the Congress bagged a majority of seats in the polls held in 26 of 33 districts in the state. The by-polls of the Panchayati Raj election reflected the changing mood of the people and the Congress went full throttle in the elections held in the remaining districts.

In the five by-polls for the Vidhan Sabha too, the Congress had won four seats.

PCC president Govind Singh Dotasara said that people voted for the Congress in the Panchayat as well as in the Assembly by-polls as they were happy and convinced with the ruling party’s performance in successfully implementing various welfare schemes.

He said the verdict also shows that the people were unhappy with the BJP’s rule at the Centre, especially on account of inflation and high fuel cost.

Dotasara added that he was confident that the people would vote the Congress back to power in the 2023 Assembly elections.

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