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Rajasthan: BJP maintains gains of assembly polls
May 13, 2004 10:09 IST
Last Updated: May 13, 2004 16:08 IST
Rajasthan, which gave a resounding victory to the BJP in the assembly polls less than six months back, gave another resounding verdict in favour of the party, which won 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats, improving on its tally of 16 seats in the dissolved House.
Despite doing well in other parts of the country, the Congress suffered yet another humiliating defeat with its tally of nine in the dissolved house further reduced to four. Among with losers are stalwarts like former Lok Sabha speaker Balram Jakhar, former Union minister Buta Singh, former state Congress chief Girija Vyas and present PCC chief Narayan Singh.
The BJP wave was felt across the state but the saffron party suffered a major loss in Sawai Madhopur (ST) where Union Minister Jaskaur Meena was trounced by Namo Narayan Meena (Congress), a former Indian Police Service official who jumped into the fray by resigning as member of the state's Human Rights Commission.
Although BJP lost two seats Alwar and Sawai Madhopur - to the Congress, it was not only able to compensate it but also increased its tally by wresting seven seats - Bikaner, Banswara, Salumber (ST), Udaipur, Jalore, Barmer and Nagaur.
Popular actor Dharmendra romped home from Bikaner, Finance Minister Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh trounced three-time winner Sona Ram of Congress by over 200,000 votes in Barmer, winning the seat for the saffron party for the first time since Independence.
Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's son Dushyant Singh (BJP) and late Rajesh Pilot's son Sachin Pilot (Congress) succeeded in keeping their parental legacy from Jhalawar and Dausa, respectively.
BJP's Girdhari Lal Bhargava scored a double hat-trick from Jaipur seat defeating Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, nephew of Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
BJP's Rasa Singh Rawat won the Ajmer Lok Sabha seat by defeating his nearest Congress rival Habibur Rehman by over 1.27lakh votes.
The Congress' efforts to woo back Jats voters by making Narayan Singh as PCC chief in the run up to parliamentary polls failed to pay dividends as the BJP candidates romped home in the five seats - Bikaner, Churu, Sikar, Bharatpur and Nagaur - dominated by the community. The Congress could retain only Jhunjhunu seat as both the parties had fielded Jat candidates in all these seats.
The Meena community (Schedule Tribe) apparently deserted the BJP to join hands with Gurjars to give Sawai Madhopur (ST) and Dausa to the Congress with huge margins. However, the BJP succeeded in winning the other Schedule Tribe seats of Banswara and Salumber.
The BJP's effort to win Alwar and Dausa seats by importing candidates from neighbouring Haryana did not succeed.
Both Mahant Chand Nath, preferred over sitting BJP member Jaswant Singh Yadav, in Alwar and Kartar Singh Bhadana, who was brought to contest Dausa seat after he resigned as cabinet minister in the O P Chautala government, were defeated.
However, the saffron party succeeded in holding schedule castes in its fold winning Tonk and Bayana seats convincingly.
Union Minister Kailash Meghwal romped home in Tonk defeating former bureaucrat N K Bairwa, who jumped into the electoral fray on a Congress ticket by resigning as chairman of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission.