Rajasthan Assembly elections: Out of 120 candidates handpicked by Amit Shah, only 11 won

Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, on the other hand, proposed the names of 80 candidates. Significantly, the BJP won on 62 out of those 80 seats

PTI
PTI

Dhairya Maheshwari

In what turned out be a lesson in non-interference for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s central leadership, only 11 of the 120 candidates whose names were proposed by party president Amit Shah in Rajasthan managed to win from their constituencies.

Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who was believed to be at loggerheads with party president Amit Shah over the seat distribution strategy, on the other hand, had a much successful strike rate.

Sixty-two of the 80 candidates backed by Raje won from their seats.

Sources close to the BJP have told National Herald that the spat between Shah and Raje is being seen as a major reason behind BJP’s below-par performance in the western state, where the BJP managed to win just 72 seats in the 200-member assembly.

The BJP’s final tally in the 2018 elections was a drastic reduction over the number of seats it had won in the previous state elections in 2013, when the saffron party had won from 163 seats.

However, it is reliably learnt that the election results have prompted a “course-correction” on part of Amit Shah and the central leadership, who are now re-assessing their roles in the states as the country approaches the Lok Sabha elections in coming months.

A rejuvenated Congress Party, on the other hand, won from 99 seats, a significant improvement over its performance in 2013, when it had won just 21 seats.

Giving a sense of the bad blood that prevailed between Raje and Shah in the lead-up to the state elections, sources described a meeting between the two leaders before the state went to polls.

“Raje handed Shah a list of 200 candidates. Shah tore the list there and then and chucked in the bin. Then, Shah handed the list of candidates he wanted for the elections. Returning Shah’s gesture in kind, even Raje tore the list and threw it in the bin,” said sources.

“There was an eventual settlement that Raje would decide the candidates on 80 seats, while Shah and the central leadership would select the candidates on the remaining 120,” added sources.

Sources further revealed that Raje’s decision to be on the stage at the time of swearing-in of new CM Ashok Gehlot and deputy CM Sachin Pilot was intended to send out a message to Shah, who had “deliberately” kept out Raje from crucial election rallies in the lead-up to elections.

However, it is reliably learnt that the election results have prompted a “course-correction” on part of Amit Shah and the central leadership, who are now re-assessing their roles in the states as the country approaches the Lok Sabha elections in coming months.

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.