Local body polls: Cong’s one-man army Dotasara vs BJP’s factions

The Rajasthan government had gone to the apex court to get these polls postponed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, but the court did not allow it.
BJP and Congress Flag Poster
BJP and Congress Flag Poster

Jaipur, Oct 13 : The coming elections for six Nagar Nigams in Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Kota districts are poised for an interesting battle as Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) chief Govind Dotasara as the ruling party’s one-man army is pitted against BJP’s faction-ridden state unit.

Soon after then Deputy CM Sachin Pilot was removed as PCC chief on July 14 for leading the revolt against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, PCC’s working committees, departments and cells were dissolved by then Rajasthan affairs incharge Avinash Pandey.

However, the PCC has since been operating as a one-man army, with Dotarasa handling the state Congress affairs as well as the education portfolio.

Asked about the Congress strategy for the polls, Dotasara told IANS: “There are no worries. We have our government in the state and all our team players are working with commitment, zeal and energy.”

When pointed out there were no district Congress chiefs in the three districts where polls will be held, he said: “We have party MLAs and other leaders who are working as a team. Our organising committees have been formed as per state Congress affairs incharge Ajay Maken. We will win these polls,” he added.

On the other hand, the opposition BJP seems ridden with factionalism. Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been conspicuous by her absence from all major BJP protests in Rajasthan.

She and her supporters, including BJP lawmakers, have been maintaining a distance from the BJP and its affairs for the last many months.

In fact, even on Monday, when the party celebrated her late mother Vijaya Raje Scindia’s birth anniversary, she was nowhere to be seen at the state BJP office. A party insider said she was invited but she did not come.

Raje and her team — including MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, former state BJP President Ashok Parnami and others — were absent during the recent ‘Halla Bol’ protest staged by state BJP against increasing crimes in the state.

“The party is focussed more on its organisational set-up for the polls and is relying less on the MLAs due to factionalism,” a BJP worker told IANS.

The BJP on Sunday announced a three-layered system for ticket distribution — division incharge, district incharge, and corporation incharge.

Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia claimed that the party is determined to win the local body elections.

“We will issue a ‘black paper’ soon to highlight the Congress government’s failures in the last 20 months to counter the ‘white paper’ to be released by the Congress.”

Elections to the six Nagar Nigams will be held on October 29 and November 1 and counting taken up on November 3. Elections for Mayors’ posts will be held on November 10 and for Deputy Mayors on November 11.

On Monday, the BJP pitched Union Ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Kailash Chaudhary as convenors for municipal polls in Jaipur and Jodhpur districts. Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore is the convenor for Kota.

Raje’s team and its supporters have been kept out this time, BJP insiders said.

The Rajasthan government had gone to the apex court to get these polls postponed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, but the court did not allow it.

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