The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday released its third list of eight candidates for the Rajasthan assembly elections, fielding former Jodhpur Development Authority chairman Mahendra Singh Rathore against chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
Rathore, who is a professor at the Jai Narayan Vyas University in Jodhpur, has been fielded from Sardarpura. The party has fielded Ajit Singh Mehta from Tonk against Gehlot’s former deputy Sachin Pilot.
In its third list, the BJP gave tickets to two former Congress leaders who joined the just a day before.
Subhash Meel has been fielded from Khandela and Darshan Gurjar from Karauli. Udailal Dangi, who rejoined the BJP from the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP), has got the ticket from Vallabhnagar, which the BJP considers a tough seat.
Other prominent faces in the list include Balmukund Acharya, who has been fielded from the Hawa Mahal seat in Jaipur. From Kolayat, BJP leader Devi Singh Bhati and his daughter-in-law Poonam Kanwar have got the ticket. Bhati had left the party in 2018 and rejoined recently.
The BJP’s third list came a day after the Central Election Committee meeting in Delhi on Wednesday.
In three lists, the BJP has declared candidates on 182 of 200 seats. Polling for the Rajasthan assembly polls will be held on November 25. In their third list, the BJP has named six women candidates.
The party in its third list has repeated tickets to eight MLAs, including Ram Pratap Kasania from Suratgarh, Pabbaram Bishnoi from Phalodi, Pooraram Chaudharu from Bhinmal, Narayan Singh Deval from Raniwada, Arjunlal Jeengar from Kapasan, Chandrakanta Meghwal from Keshoraipatan, Kalpana Devi from Ladpura and Madan Dilawar from Ramganjmadi.
Senior BJP leader Kailash Meghwal, who had accused BJP leader and Union law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal of corruption, did not find a place on the list. Instead, from Shahpura, the BJP chose to field a new face – Lalaram Bairwa.
The BJP list also has some leaders considered closest to former chief minister Vasundhara Raje such as Prabulal Saini from Hindoli, Jaswant Singh Yadav from Behror and Ajay Kilak from Degana.
Former minister Yunus Khan, a close confidant of Raje, did not find a place on the list. Raje was lobbying for Khan from his traditional seat, Deedwana. In 2018, Khan had contested and lost against Sachin Pilot from Tonk.
From Kaman, where BJP had difficulty in finding a face, the party has fielded its young leader Nauksham Chaudhary.
Jagat Singh, son of former union minister and senior Congress leader Natwar Singh, has been fielded from Nadbai. Singh has earlier fought and won on a BJP ticket from Kaman and Laxmangarh.