Major contenders in Rajasthan are pressurizing smaller parties and rebels, who have significant popularity especially in 68 seats, to cross over to their parties or to withdraw their candidature.
In the ongoing Rajasthan assembly elections for 200 seats, a decisive and crucial role is played by small parties and rebels in almost 68 seats, thus influencing results by breaking or making the government. Hence, major parties like Congress and BJP are wooing them to cross over to their parties or pressuring them to withdraw their candidature.
Rajasthan has a history of electing rebels and smaller parties to power. Like in 1993 Assembly polls, there were 28 such MLAs, in 1998 there were 14, in 2003 it was 24, in 2008 it was 26, 16 in 2013 and 27 in 2018. In the previous Assembly election in 2018, the Congress, at 100 seats, had to form an alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) to form the government as they were short of one seat. There were about 27 independent and small party MLAs in 2018, with the maximum of them supporting Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Also, there are about 31 seats in which rebels from both major parties – 17 from the Congress and 14 from the BJP – are turning the contest into a triangular one. The BJP and the Congress have tried fully to convince the rebels to withdraw their candidature, by also threatening them with disciplinary action, but it has only only partially and the rebels are playing spoilsport.
Thus, owing to the massive popularity and the decisive role played by smaller parties and rebels, both Congress and BJP are wooing them into their parties or pressuring them to withdraw their candidature.
Like, in Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal and Adarsh Nagar constituencies, pressure from community leaders and by CM Ashok Gehlot had compelled Pappu Qureshi and Umar Daraz, both Congress rebels pitied by AAP, to return to the Congress a week before voting.
While, BSP’s Adarsh Nagar candidate Hasan Raja has also offered support to Congress’ Rafeek Khan.
BJP too is wooing rebels to consolidate its vote share. Like in Vidyadhar Nagar, where BJP’s MP Diya Kumari is facing a big challenge, the local Parivartan Party of India candidate Rajpal Shekhawat withdrew his candidature and showed support to BJP after being pressurised.