On Wednesday evening when Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Jaipur, an ecstatic crowd waited for him. The news of United Nation (UN) designating Jaish chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist had reached the prime minister and the people. Modi made the announcement of India's "big diplomatic win" addressing the cheering crowd.
The news of Azhar being designated a global terrorist will surely attract the same cheering when he addresses his next rally on Friday. But on Thursday it’s a break from campaigning for Modi.
On the other hand, Congress president Rahul Gandhi will visit Jharkhand where he will address a rally at Simdega followed by a public meeting at Jaipur, Rajasthan. Simdega, where Rahul Gandhi will address a rally, is part of Khunti Lok Sabha constituency. Bharatiya Janata Party has won this seat six times since 1991 and lost to Congress only in 2004.
BJP this time has fielded Jharkhand’s three-term chief minister Arjun Munda as its candidate from this seat. In 2014 BJP registered a massive victory in Jharkhand where it won 12 out 14 Lok Sabha seats. Though this time, the party faces a tougher challenge than previous years because all its opponents — Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) (JVM (P), and Rashtriya Janata Dal — have come together to form a coalition and prevent division of anti-BJP vote.
In Khunti, Congress and its alliance partners have fielded Kalicharan Munda who has a significant following among his tribal community.
Rahul Gandhi will also address a rally at Jaipur on Thursday. Given the fact that Modi had also addressed a rally on Wednesday in Jaipur, easy comparison between the rallies of the two leaders is likely to take place.
The incumbent MP from Jaipur is BJP’s Ramcharan Bohara who had defeated the Congress candidate in 2014 with a record margin of over 5.39 lakh votes, the largest in the state. In 2009 elections, Congress candidate Mahesh Joshi had won with a thin margin of 16000 votes.
In 2014 it was the infighting within the Congress that contributed to its defeat and this time various reports suggest that the BJP is plagued by the same ailment. According to The Times of India report Bohara has been facing opposition from former Bagru MLA Kailash Verma. It will be interesting to see to what extent this infighting within BJP can benefit Congress.
While Modi will take a break from campaigning on Thursday, BJP president Amit Shah will address rallies at Rajgarh, Sehore, and Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh.
Rajgarh Lok Sabha includes eight Assembly constituencies and the incumbent MP is Rodmal Nagar from BJP. Neemuch is part of Mandsaur Lok Sabha constituency and the sitting MP from here is Sudhir Gupta of BJP. Sehore is part of Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency and is considered one of the most high-profile seats in the State.
External Affairs Minister and one of the senior most leader of BJP Sushma Swaraj is sitting MP from here and in 2014 had defeated Congress candidate Lakshman Singh with a huge margin. Swaraj received 66.50 percent of the total votes cast in this constituency.
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan has represented this seat in past. BJP has not declared the candidate for this seat yet which will go to polls on 12 May.
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Updated Date: May 02, 2019 08:12:13 IST