Jaipur: The Congress on Thursday announced its candidate for the Banswar-Dungarpur Lok Sabha, ending speculation of giving the seat to the Bhartiya Adivasi Party (BAP), a regional party that emerged as a local power in recent years.

(Representative Photo)

The Congress has announced a fresh face, Arvind Damor, a district office bearer of Rajasthan Youth Congress. Meanwhile, BAP, which emerged as a strong opponent in last year’s assembly polls in tribal-dominated districts in the region, has announced Rajkumar Roat, the party’s founder-member, for the coming Lok Sabha polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Congress turncoat Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya, for the seat.

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Roat, a standing MLA from Chorasi, is one of the three BAP leaders who won in the 2023 state assembly election.

The Congress was reportedly seeking an alliance with regional parties to take on the BJP in the state. However, with recent announcements of candidates, the tribal community-dominated seat is all set to witness a triangular contest.

A senior leader familiar with the development said there were talks of a Congress alliance with BAP but it did not work out: For one, BAP, besides in Rajasthan, also demanded seats in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

Ahead of the Congress’ candidate announcement, Roat took to the social media platform X and said, “If Congress leaves the Banswara-Dungarpur seat for alliance supporting the BAP, then we and all the residents here will be grateful to the Congress high command and will defeat the BJP.”

Political analyst Manish Godha said the option of leaving the seat remain open: If talks of alliance move forward then withdrawal of the candidate may also take place, he said.

Godha said that the Congress fielding its candidate would help BAP as BJP’s candidate Malviya, a four-time Congress MLA and a minister in the former chief minister Ashok Gehlot-led government, could sway the votes in his favour. However, the constituency’s votes could now be divided between Congress candidate Damor and BJP’s Malviya.

Congress strategists believed that if there was an alliance with BAP, they could together defeat BJP, but local Congress leaders had opposed it.

A total of 114 candidates are in the fray in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan.

A total of 10 candidates from the constituencies, which will go to polls in the first phase have withdrawn their nomination papers. Polling in the first phase will be held in 12 out of 13 Lok Sabha seats on April 19. The counting of votes will take place on June 4.


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