In 2014, the BJP swept all 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan.
As 13 seats go to the polls, Mint finds out whether the state will vote out the incumbent, as it usually does, or give them another chance
Elections 2019: What security means for voters near border
One of Satram Ram’s earliest memories is running away from Pakistani bombs as a 12-year-old. One morning in November 1965, a few men came to Kishangarh, a border village on Rajasthan’s protruding western edge in Jaisalmer district, and asked everyone to run. Ram took off with his mother and sister to the nearest major town, Ramgarh, with “enough rations to last just two days". Yet, for 65-year-old Ram, nationalism hardly matters in the upcoming polls.
What happens at the ration shop is a bigger concern than what happens at the border, which is a mere 15 km from Tanot village, where he lives now. The “fingerprint machine" (Aadhaar-enabled PDS) won’t give his ration on some days. And, he has to physically go collect it himself, while he could give his ration card to a younger person earlier. “There is no use for the poor if Modi comes back to power," Ram says. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: Udaipur may break its pattern
When Udaipur goes to polls on Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be looking to break a pattern. Since the 1996 general elections, voters in the Lok Sabha constituency have always made sure they chose a new party and a new member of Parliament every five years.
“The Udaipur Lok Sabha seat mirrors the electoral pattern of the state of Rajasthan in the assembly elections. People like to change governments every five years so that politicians are held accountable and continue to work for them. This time, though, we may see a different pattern in Udaipur. People here are happy with the way the government has worked. This is the land of Maharana Pratap who was known for his bold steps, so we should get a government like that as well," said Parsavnath Mehta, a shopkeeper in Udaipur. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: Without jobs, youth weigh options
Wasim Ahmed spends his days ferrying people to and from the famous Dargah Sharif in his autorickshaw in Ajmer. Packed with eateries, and flower and garment shops, the narrow lanes do not allow using bigger vehicles and Ahmed says he makes enough to make ends meet. But he’s worried about the future of his brother, who is studying law.
“He can’t do this job, can he? It’s okay for me but there are thousands of graduates in the country sitting at home. There are no jobs for them," said Ahmed, putting his finger on the biggest issue for the youth in Rajasthan, and the rest of the country. Fighting unemployment was the promise that played a role in bringing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power in 2014, but five years later, voters feel, it has not delivered. (READ MORE)
Elections 2019: Loan waivers trump income support plans
On a scorching April afternoon, Sunita Goswami accompanies her husband and mother-in-law to the Ganesh temple in Moti Doongri in Jaipur. Her face covered by a ghoonghat, she speaks in hushed tones—until it comes to matters of the country.
“There is only one man to support—Prime Minister Modi. Nobody else has responded to terror within 10 days the way he did. That is the way it should be. Congress has never done this. It has always played the blame game. Modi was the one to say the attacks came from that side," said Goswami, a postgraduate, referring to the recent Pulwama attacks and the Balakot strikes that followed. (READ MORE)
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