Ajmer (Rajasthan), March 29: Ajmer, home to the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, will see state Congress chief and union minister Sachin Pilot squaring off against prominent Jat leader Sanwar Lal Jat of the BJP.
Sanwar Jat is a minister in the state cabinet of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
No other prominent leader is in the fray in the election to the Lok Sabha from the constituency.
Besides caste-based equations, the performance and direct contact of a candidate with the people will also matter in tipping the electoral scales this time.
Ajmer traditionally has been a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bastion but Pilot broke this starnglehold in the last general poll and won by over 76,000 votes. However, the Congress lost in all eight assembly segments falling in the Ajmer Lok Sabha constituency during the state polls last year by over 1.92 lakh votes.
The dominant Rawat and Jat voters helped the BJP win in Ajmer.
However, in the redrawing of constituencies in the last Lok Sabha elections, the partly dominating Rawat belt of Beawar was merged into the Rajsamand Lok Sabha constituency and Dudhu assembly constituency of Jaipur was included in Ajmer in the delimitation process.
“This new equation helped Pilot to gain ground in Ajmer,” said Roop Singh, a keen political watcher.
There are over 16 lakh voters in the Ajmer constituency. Of these, the STs and SCs dominate with 3.85 lakh, 2.10 lakh are Jats, 2 lakh Gujjars, 1.50 lakh Rawats, about 2.60 lakh Muslims, 1 lakh Rajputs, 1. 45 lakh Vaish and remaining are others.
“While the BJP hopes to get Jat, Vaish, Rawat and Brahmin votes, the Congress is banking on Muslim, Gujjar and SC/ST votes,” Roop Singh said.
Pilot seems to be having a strong hold in Dudhu, Kishangarh, Kekeri and Pisangan belt of the district while Sanwar Jat has dominance in Bhinai, Nasirabad and even in Masuda block.
Last time, Pilot got an edge from Kekeri, Dudhu, Nasirabad and Pushkar. “I am fighting this election on the issue of development and going to people to choose right candidate for the future,” said Pilot.
Sanwar Jat, meanwhile, said: “I will resolve problems of poor farmers and remain available for the common man.”
“At least Sanwar Lal Jat has a house in our area, we can approach him. It is difficult for us to get in touch with Pilot,” said Munni Devi, a voter from Bhinai.
“Pilot has got a clean image and he keeps regular touch with the people here,” said Arjun Singh, a voter from Ajmer.
Who will finally emerge victorious is still difficult to say, but one thing is sure the election here is going to be a fight that everyone will be looking forward to.
(Anil Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)