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Where will Udaipur swing these polls?

Sunday, 8 December 2013 - 2:40pm IST | Place: Udaipur | Agency: DNA
Party winning majority of seats in Mewar usually forms govt.

Mewar plays a crucial role in government formation. In 2008 elections, Congress had won 20 seats out of the total 28 and formed the government. In 2003, BJP had lapped up 22 seats and formed the government.

The region seems all set to play vital role yet again in the formation of government in Rajasthan.

It is likely that the region would gift at least one-and-a-half dozen seats to any one of two parties - Congress or BJP. Only the election results on Sunday will clear the air whether the people of Mewar have voted for Narendra Modi’s charm or they have given weightage to free medicine scheme of the chief minister, Ashok Gehlot.

There were some factors that could have influenced the prospects of parties and candidates in this region. Both the parties had targeted the Vagad area in Mewar and rushed in their star campaigners in this region.

The welfare schemes by the Gehlot-led government have proved very beneficial for the residents in this region as it is a tribal belt. Free medicines, laptops, bicycles, tablets have all tried to woo the tribal population. And the elderly of the area seem to be content with it. However, the youths are impressed with Gujarat’s model which promises job opportunities. Rural youths believe that schemes like MNREGA and others are meant for the elderly only while Modi’s Gujarat model will fetch them high paying job opportunities.

If this is assumed to be correct, then the high vote percentage in rural areas seems to translate into a wave for BJP.

High voter turnout in the rural areas could also be seen as a reflection of the fact that even the tribals are annoyed with inflation, and free medicines and other perks by the Congress government have failed to liquidate the anti-incumbency. Meanwhile, there are many seats in Mewar where the workers of both the parties worked against their candidates.

BJP candidate Gulab Chand Kataria from Udaipur is one such example as Brahmin and Rajput leaders maintained distance from his rallies. Similarly, Congress candidate Dinesh Shrimali too faced the ire of the locals who perceived him as a candidate imposed on them by party leader CP Joshi. Other candidates such as Sajjan Katara from Udaipur rural, Ganpat Maneria on Vallabhnagar seat, Mavli BJP candidate Dulichand Dangi and Basanti Devi from Salumber - all have battled infighting and rebellion.

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