14 June, 2021

Ahead Of Elections, A Walk Through Rajasthan's Political Landscape

A walk through Rajasthan’s political landscape, as election campaigning reaches fever pitch

On The Road
Rajasthan CM Vasundhararaje
Photograph by Getty Images
Ahead Of Elections, A Walk Through Rajasthan's Political Landscape

“You have to make history. You have to help me make hist­ory,” exhorts Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Alwar’s Dussehra ground in the backdrop of the rugged Aravalis. Rajasthanis have been deserting the ruling dispe­n­sation for the past 25 years. With his first rally in the state last Sunday for the December 7 assembly elections, Modi is urging the voters to halt this trend. In February, they had the party worried by voting in the Congress candidate in the Lok Sabha bypoll by nearly two lakh votes.

Modi’s magnetism seems intact at the rally, the crowd cheering lustily to his jabs at Congress leaders and the party’s policies. But travelling through the state, it is clear that chief minister Vasu­ndhararaje has a tough job at hand in trying to retain power. And she is fighting hard. We meet her after her rally in Kishangarh the previous evening at Rajasthan marble mogul Ashok Patni’s house. Raje had spoken at 14 rallies that day and had one more to go at nearby Dudu. She looked battle-ready. “The pace of development...

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