With Vasundhara Raje led BJP-government completing three subsequent years in December 2016, there are just two years left for the next State Assembly Elections.
As far as State Assembly Election 2018, this is what we know so far:
- Within BJP, the party members feel the need to make some necessary changes in the organisation. The first step will be to form the executive committee of the state and then reshuffle and expand the existing cabinet. For the same, Raje had a 45-minute long meeting with party president Amit Shah, state BJP president Ashok Parnami and joint secretary organisation V Satish. Seems as a new and rejuvenated Cabinet is on the cards.
- Former CM and an active Congressman, Ashok Gehlot’s chances look meek this time. Repeatedly failing to deliver his promises, Gehlot has lost half of his vote bank to corruption and favouritism. His ignorant and laid-back attitude has left party workers disappointed as they feel he has not been able o prove himself as a strong opponent to Vasundhara Raje whose popularity is growing by the day. His habit of delaying appointments also left too many party workers disappointed.
- PCC President Sachin Pilot, is the new face of Congress who might contest in place of Ashok Gehlot. Going by the intensity of their difference in opinions, the clashes between both the party members is likely to turn ugly. Gehlot, who had taken control of the Congress in the state for decades, is now fearing losing his candidacy to Pilot. Congress party members who earlier supported Gehlot are now pushing Pilot instead. Expert analysis says that Pilot, who lost his own seat in the 2013 elections, may be a weak link for the Congress for the Assembly Elections 2018.
- Another potential Congress candidate for the seat of Chief Minister is CP Joshi. Though he has a very few supporters with him, his connections with the high command might get him the limelight he is seeking for.
- Where Ashok Gehlot claims that Raje’s defeat is certain, it seems he is the only one to think so. Raje’s strong leadership, path-breaking reforms, innovative schemes and policies along with her touch at the ground level through various district tours signify her growing popularity amongst masses. Political analysts say that if Vasundhara Raje continues working in similar manner for coming two years, her victory would be as easy as 2013 Rajasthan assembly elections. On the other hand, Congress members are known for attacking their fellow party members; their internal power clashes may prove disastrous for the party.
- Vasundhara Raje has a clear support from the Centre and she shares a strong rapport with her Cabinet colleagues which is the reason why there are not many infights in the Rajasthan BJP (apart for an unimportant Ghanshyam Tiwari). A strong team, support from Modi and the people alike – seems like Raje is on the winning streak!
Whatever the odds are, developments for the coming Rajasthan Assembly Elections will be interesting to watch.