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|September 10, 1999||
Vasundhara Raje likely to have a walkover
For Vasundhara Raje, scion of the Gwalior royal family and minister of state in the Vajpayee ministry, it could be yet another cake-walk from the Jhalawar Lok Sabha seat in Rajasthan. She has won from this constituency, which borders Madhya Pradesh and is considered to be the most backward area in the state, four times.
Raje is pitted against Dr Abrar Ahmed of the Congress.
The campaigning which has been low-key for the most part -- the constituency goes to the polls tomorrow -- perked up after both Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed rallies here.
The daughter of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia, the Bharatiya Janata Party heavyweight, Vasundhara Raje combines the glamour of the Gwalior nobility with individual charisma. She is also married to the former ruler of Dholpur, an additional factor that endears her to the local populace.
Raje's dominance in this constituency is evident from the overwhelming margins by which she has defeated her Congress rivals in the last four Lok Sabha elections.
Abrar Ahmed has been fielded keeping in mind his wife's association with the area: Yasmeen Abrar, member of the Rajasthan legislative assembly, belongs to Jhalawar.
Overall the Congress has been victorious in this seat only thrice. In the first Lok Sabha election in 1952 Nemichand Kasliwal was the victor. In 1962 the former maharaja, Brijraj Singh, and in 1984 Jujhar Singh won the seat for the party.
Maharaja Brijraj Singh switched over to the Jan Sangh and defeated the Congress candidates in the 1967 and 1971 Lok Sabha polls in this constituency.
The 1977 and 1980 elections returned Chaturbhuj, first as the Lok Dal and the next time as the Janata Party representative.
The total number of voters in this constituency is 10,69,395 out of which 1,79,107 voters belong to the Scheduled Castes and 1,66,790 to the Scheduled Tribes.
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