Raj civic polls: CM Gehlot, LS Speaker Birla’s image at stake

Ashok Gehlot

senior leaders including Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekahwat and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is at stake in the Rajasthan municipal polls scheduled to be held in Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota on October 29 and November 1 for six corporations, two in each district.

Although the polls are local, the campaigning by national leaders have made them quite interesting, enhancing their significance and stature.

The first interesting fight is in Jodhpur which is represented by Gehlot and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. While Gehlot is MLA from Jodhpur’s Sardarpura, Shekhawat was elected as MP in the Lok Sabha polls after defeating Gehlot’s son Vaibhav who was the Congress representative.

Shekhawat has a strong presence on the ground during campaigning, however the absence of Gehlot during the poll campaigning has created a political buzz in the desert state.

All eyes are set to see if the local elections repeat the Lok Sabha story and if the saffron flag flies over two corporations here.

Gehlot has cancelled all his meetings after many people tested COVID positive in CMO and CMR. However, he has been attending video conferences to ensure things go smoothly in the state and his son Vaibhav Gehlot is handling matters in Jodhpur.

There were reports of infighting coming in from Jodhpur which Gehlot tried to placate while being in Jaipur. However his absence on the ground and Shekhawat’s strong presence are being discussed widely in the political corridors as Shekhawat is openly announcing that CM has “avenged” the defeat of his son by ignoring Jodhpur.

Municipal polls in Kota are also going to be interesting as the district is represented by Lok Speaker Birla who has a clean image in the city. Anti-incumbency against state minister Shanti Dhariwal who represents Kota is yet another key issue in the polls

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