Is the two-party system over for Rajasthan?


Are the deep factions existing within the Congress and BJP camps splitting their vote banks? These are a few burning questions rocking the desert state as many regional and national parties are making a beeline to make foray in the desert state. Secondly, the independents are also giving trouble to both the Congress and the BJP after constant victories in the Assembly and local polls, thereby disturbing the political equations in the state. Presently, the state has a strong presence of two parties, namely the Congress and the BJP. Besides these, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party formed during the last Assembly elections swept three seats in 2018 while the Bharatiya Tribal Party also won two seats in its first 'game' being played in the same elections. Besides these regional parties, the AAP has now announced to contest polls on all 200 seats of the state. Speaking to IANS, AAP Rajasthan veteran leader Khemchand Jagirdar said, "We have decided to strengthen our presence in the desert state. In the next 6 months, we will expand our party and strengthen it at the grassroots level. The party will hire people from teachers, employees and other professional associations. Also, many BJP and Congress leaders are ready to join the party," he said, adding, "People in the state are now looking for an option as they are fed up with the faulty policies of these parties." Similarly, political sources confirmed that AIMIM is also planning to enter the state politics in the next Assembly polls. Two regional parties, namely the BTP and RLP have already spoiled the so-called two-party system status of Rajasthan by capturing 5 seats in their first attempt. The RLP, once an ally of BJP, is now contesting local elections and bypolls on its own after severing ties with the saffron party, and has been giving a tough challenge to both the ruling government as well as the opposition. The party was third in the bypolls held on three seats -- Rajsamand, Sahada and Sujangarh and managed to give a tough fight to the Congress and BJP. Also, in the last Assembly polls, 13 independents won the elections when the RLP swept three seats and the BTP won two, limiting the Congress to only 99 seats. Eventually independents supported the Congress to give it a strong majority. On Friday, the results of local Panchayat elections for six districts were announced. Out of 1,564 seats, results for 1,562 were announced and till filing of report BJP had won 551 seats, Congress 670 while independents won 290 seats and are said to be the kingmakers. The BSP managed to win 11 seats, while the RLP swept 40 seats in these polls. Congress former PCC vice-president Archana Sharma said, "Congress has been garnering a majority everywhere and stands on the top. This is the result of our policies which cater to public welfare. Even the independents who won were inclined towards the Congress," she added. BJP spokesperson Rakhi Rathore meanwhile said, "Congress has intentionally done a unique delimitation which is indirectly benefiting the party. This process has shortened the wards and in such a scenario, independents gain mileage. Contacting voters on one to one basis is easier in these small wards. The deepening factionism has left the government worried and hence they resorted to delimitation in municipal corporation elections in three districts earlier (Kota, Jaipur and Jodhpur) and are following the same trend in all elections," she said. BJP media head Pankaj Joshi said, "The other parties coming in have been limited to a certain region. Hence can't say that the two party system is over in Rajasthan. Those contesting as independents are ex-workers of one or the other party." As the BJP and the Congress stay confident on their claims, the other parties are definitely spreading their wings making the fight for 2023 Assembly polls interesting. Wait and watch -- is what the political veterans say as the political equations seem to be changing in the state. /IANS


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