Rajasthan share same fate with Karnataka of being swing state every election despite of both Congress and BJP wining handsomely over victory margins.
1998 State election Congress won with almost 150 seats to assume the power and Ashok Gehlot was crowned sidelining old guard and prominent Jat leader Parasram Maderna by Congress high command.
In 2003 State government led by Congress government faced challenges from state government employees which end up in congress loosing power. BJP first time had full majority with 120 seats under leadership of state party President Vasundhara Raje, she rightfully took over the power and had a stable 5 year tenure. In 2008 the state again had a hung assembly where Congress was marginally ahead of BJP but short of majority.Congress making hue and cry on Karnataka on horse trading poached BSP MLA’s and formed the government to last for full term.
In 2003 BJP riding on Modi wave managed to win almost 80% of Assembly.This huge victory set the pace for 2014 General election.
In last 4 and half years BJP faced lots of issues in state arised out of external and Internal fractions of BJP.
BJP’s vetran Ghanshyam Tiwari prominent brahmin leader in region who won by unprecedented highest victory margin in state was cornered by CM Vasundhra Raje. Another victim of Vasundhara was Dr Kirodi lal Meena a leader with impact on almost 15 seats dominated by SC caste vote bank which cost BJP power in 2008.
She was also not able to bridge the government policies with ideological mentor RSS which had supported her in early days as repayment of tribute to Vijiya Raje Sindhiya who was founder member of BJP & Jansangh.
Bypolls also gave the indication that party worker and RSS are not happy with the functioning of CM.It is also evident that there is Anti incumbency against CM but not against BJP.
BJP’s top brass & strategy team watching closely the developments in state politics observed that there is need of a leader who is well connected with grass root worker & can bring BJP together which seems to be divided in fractions. Center read this quickly and had a perfect match to gap the difference created in party worker & leadership.
The name in the proposal is Central Agriculture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat a progressive farmer & Ex- ABVP who rised out of ranks on merit of his working style.He won Jodhpur seat by handsome margin of over 4 lakh votes. A leader with massive support on ground where he seems to be affectionate for all workers and people of Marwar region and western belt of Rajasthan.Coming from Shekhawati background he is also popular in north eastern Rajasthan a strong hold of Shekhawat’s.He also comes with skill set of damage control ability which state BJP requires a lot at this stage.His skills helped BJP resuming Civic polls in Jodhpur after almost 15 years.He is well connected leader on social media specially on Quora a platform for intellectual minds.
Though camp Vasundhra is trying hard to keep the state president of their choice but Centre seems to be adamant on the name of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
In Congress it seems to be a direct contest in between Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot for the top post on state.Ashok Gehlot rising in ranks by being a trouble shooter for Congress in crucial states like Punjab,Gujarat and now Karnataka keeps himself in very low profile and likes to work on ground rather than being in war room.His ability to touch the people by nerves is what it makes him different from other Congress leaders who are in top positions by mercy.He earned the respect of top leadership by his organisational skills and streaming the political strategy after the Modi disaster.Though he is not a good orater but he have skills to bring people along.Some fractions of Congress also believes that looking into his clean image he may be elevated to position of PM if Congress comes into power.
2018 will be a interesting battle if these two leaders comes against each other who hails from Marwad region of Rajasthan.It will be tough turf for both BJP and Congress in Rajasthan. Rajasthan will be a very difficult poll prediction until we see another Modi wave making a a clean sweep.