Manvendra Singh, son of former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh, will contest as the Congress candidate against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state. The Congress on Saturday released its second list of 32 candidates for the polls, while the BJP named candidates for eight seats in its third list.
Elections to the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly will be held on December 7, and votes will be counted on December 11.
Manvendra Singh had resigned from the BJP in September, saying it had been a mistake to join the saffron party. He joined the Congress a month later. He represented Sheo in the Rajasthan Assembly as a BJP member, but will contest Jhalrapatan constituency now, against Vasundhara Raje. The BJP had named Raje in an earlier list.
Raje said the Congress had fielded Manvendra Singh against her as it could not find any other candidate, PTI reported. “The Congress could not find any candidate and he [Manvendra Singh] was to be given ticket from somewhere and therefore, he was sent here [Jhalrapatan],” Raje said after filing her nomination papers.
State BJP chief Madan Lal Saini said the Congress’s decision would have no impact and the party would retain the seat. Raje has represented Jhalrapatan in the Assembly since 2003.
On Thursday, the Congress had released its first list of 152 candidates for the Assembly elections. The list had named former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and state unit president Sachin Pilot, the two likely contenders for chief minister. This is the first time Pilot is contesting the Assembly polls, reported The Indian Express.
The BJP’s third list of eight candidates included minister Surendra Pal Singh’s name as the candidate from Karanpur. The party dropped six sitting MLAs, PTI reported. The BJP has released names of 162 candidates earlier.