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First-time CM Sharma to face challenges over BJP's poor show in Rajasthan

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
June 06, 2024 01:21 IST
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After the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's poor show in the Lok Sabha polls in Rajasthan, the focus is now on first-time Chief Minister Bhajanlal Sharma who was chosen by the party high command to lead the state last December.

IMAGE: Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma (right) meets BJP leader Omprakash Mathur at the BJP leader's residence in Jaipur, May 23, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Sharma, also a one-time MLA, may face challenges ahead as his cabinet colleague Kirodi Lal Meena, who was among the contenders for the top post after the BJP won the assembly elections, has indicated that he will resign taking responsibility of the party's defeat on seats under his responsibility.


If Meena resigns, it is likely to put pressure on other ministers whose areas also saw poor performance in the general elections.

On the other hand, PCC chief Govind Singh Dotasra's stature in the Congress is expected to go up as the party has been able to win parliamentary seats after a decade.

The party, in January this year, had also won assembly election on Karanpur seat despite the BJP making its candidate a minister.

In the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP managed to secure 14 out of 25 seats, with the Congress winning eight and its INDIA bloc partners bagging three seats.

This is a significant change from 2014 when the BJP won all 25 seats and 2019 when the BJP got 24 seats and its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) one.

This time, the BJP lost 10 seats compared to 2019, while the RLP contested in alliance with the Congress on Nagaur seat and emerged victorious.

The BJP's vote share also saw a notable decline of 9.23 percentage point in 2024 compared to 2019, while the Congress experienced a modest increase of 3.67 percentage point in its vote share.

Along with the BJP state president CP Joshi, party's election campaign in the state was run by CM Sharma.

Since Joshi was also contesting elections from Chittorgarh seat, Sharma held rallies and meetings across the state.

Senior BJP leader and former CM Vasundhara Raje was missing from the campaign in the state as she focused on the Jhalawar-Baran seat from where her son Dushyant Singh was contesting.

Major setback for the BJP came from eastern Rajasthan, where it lost Bharatpur, Karauli-Dholpur, Tonk-Sawaimadhopur and Dausa seats. Significantly, Bharatpur is the hometown of CM Sharma.

The Congress has won all these seats.

In Shekhawati region, the BJP faced defeat in Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Nagaur seats while the most embarrassing defeat came from Barmer where Union minister Kailash Chaudhary lost election with a huge margin of 4,17,943 seats and stood third.

Winning margin of Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal in Bikaner and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in Jodhpur, and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in Kota-Bundi also reduced as compared to the 2019 elections.

CM Sharma held as many as 89 public meetings and rallies in Rajasthan and 62 in other states, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha, West Bengal and Haryana.

"In the period of three months, the CM took several decisions to curb paper leaks and control the law and order situation. Besides, a tripartite agreement on Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project was signed between the Centre and Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh governments for addressing water needs of eastern Rajasthan," an aide of the CM said.

Apart from that, an agreement with Haryana was signed regarding Yamuna water to resolve water problems in the Shekhawati region.

"The BJP government started work with a proactive approach to deliver on promises made in the election manifesto. The CM led the election campaign but the loss happened due to various factors such as farmer issues, and the opposition raising SC/ST reservation issue," a BJP leader said.

Five MLAs -- three of the Congress, one of RLP, one of Bharat Adivasi Party -- have won the Lok Sabha elections and bypolls to their assembly seats will be held in coming months.

The BJP leader said that the performance of the CM and the government will be judged in the assembly bypolls.

"There might be some challenges including assembly bypolls ahead, but the CM is likely to continue," he said.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress targeted the BJP and questioned the performance of the government in the state.

Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot said that people within a few months have regretted giving mandate to the BJP in the assembly elections.

"The state government has failed to deliver and people have realised that the Congress government was better than this government," he said.
Gehlot also targeted the government over law and order issue.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024