Strategies, counter-strategies by Cong, BJP spice up Raj bypolls


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As Rajasthan goes for bypolls on April 17, the question that is doing the rounds is whether BJP's state unit chief Satish Poonia be able to escape the political trap laid by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in all the three constituencies going to the polls -- Rajsamand, Sahada and Sujangarh.

In Sahada, the Gehlot government sent an Independent-turned-BJP man, Ladulal Pitliya, to home quarantine after he withdrew his nomination as an Independent and joined the saffron brigade. Even cops were deputed outside his house to ensure that he didn't step out for campaigning during his quarantine period.

In Sujangarh, Pradesh Congress Committee chief Govind Singh Dotasra, who is also the Education Minister of Rajasthan, is camping along with his strong team.

In Rajsamand, the state in-charge of Congress, Ajay Maken, has been addressing large gatherings demanding votes in favour of the Congress candidate. He has also taken the charge to redress the grievances of angry Congress leaders who due to some reasons were maintaining a distance from party activities.

With the Congress upping the ante for the bypolls, the BJP is also leaving no stone unturned and has invited leaders like Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur for election rallies.

Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Ram Meghwal, and MP Diya Kumari are also making strong efforts to ensure electoral success for the BJP in all the three seats.

The one challenge the BJP is facing is that due to the ongoing Assembly polls in West Bengal, many leaders are engaged in campaigning there.

Secondly, a camp led by former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has maintained a strong distance from campaigning right from the beginning of filing of nominations.

Amid all this, Poonia is busy campaigning for the party candidates, interacting with different sections of people, including chaiwalas, panwalas and vegetable vendors, among others.

"We have strengthened the party at the booth and 'panna' level, which speaks the story of our efforts. We have strengthened the party at the ground level," Poonia said.

Some BJP workers have also alleged that the Gehlot government is mususing government machinery by deputing ministers and huge convoy of workers and resources for the bypolls.

Now it remains to be seen if Poonia, who has been appointed as the BJP state unit chief without the wish of the Raje faction, will be able to script a success for the BJP in the bypolls.

Source: IANS

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