13 April, 2021

All’s Not Well With BJP in Rajasthan

All’s not well with the ruling BJP, but rival Congress is yet to show it has the chutzpah to win Rajasthan.

Holding Fort
CM Vasundhararaje with state BJP chief M.L. Saini
Photograph by PTI
All’s Not Well With BJP in Rajasthan

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah visiting Raj­asthan within a span of two weeks, the state is heating up to the assembly polls due in December. Over the past 25 years, the state government has been run in turns by the BJP and the Congress with an almost religious regularity. As the BJP’s Vasundhararaje completes her second term as CM, the anti-incumbency odds may well fav­our the Congress. Modi and Shah have probably sensed this, and hence the urgency to make a head start.

Like in 2013, elections will be held in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chh­attisgarh together. That time, when the BJP managed a clear majority in all three states and it was projected as the first solid testimony to the might of the “Modi wave”, the most impressive win was in Rajasthan, where the party bagged 163 seats, up from 78 in 2008. Losing this major state in the Hindi belt a few months before the 2019 general elections would, therefore, be a big setback for the saffron party.

The BJP’s traditional votebank here includes the...

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