Home / Elections 2019 / Lok Sabha Elections 2019 /  Elections 2019: Udaipur may break its pattern

UDAIPUR : 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.

Both the BJP and the Congress are fielding the same candidates they did in 2014—sitting MP Arjun Lal Meena for BJP and Raghuvir Meena from Congress. In 2014, BJP won the seat with a margin of about 300,000 votes. The constituency has approximately 2 million voters.

Udaipur in southern Rajasthan is the epicentre of the tribal-dominated Mewar region and is one of the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state that goes to the polls on Monday. Surrounded by the Aravali range, which divides the district from the Thar Desert, Udaipur has a population that is 49.7% scheduled tribe. The newly-formed Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), which won two seats in the assembly election last year, is also contesting polls.

Voters across the constituency feel that improved infrastructure in terms of roads, flyovers, railway lines and cleanliness make the BJP a viable option. The Swachh Bharat scheme under which toilets have been built has impacted the rural voter base. Udaipur is one of the 100 cities in the Smart Cities Mission.

For Poonam Minavia, 24, the fact that her colony in Udaipur has access to toilets is impressive. “Who would have thought parties would get votes for introducing the concept of personal hygiene? Each house in our colony has a toilet. This was an issue no one thought about but it has made a big difference. For this, BJP deserves another five years," said Minavia who works as a salesperson at a cosmetics shop in Celebration mall in Udaipur.

There are some skeptics though. “Five years since its launch, the Smart Cities Mission remains on paper. The pace of development is very slow. That is the case with all schemes, more on paper and less on the ground," said Ankit Lodha, 22, a student.

The narrow lanes of Old Udaipur that lead to Gangaur Ghat on Lake Pichola are lined with shops selling clothes, leather accessories and antiques. The city of lakes is a popular tourist spot with palaces and luxury hotels that attract wedding parties, including industrialist Mukesh Ambani, who recently hosted his daughter’s pre-wedding festivities here.

“The sources of livelihood in Udaipur are tourism, cotton and silver jewellery. Udaipur has always been a popular destination, but with better connectivity, we get more tourists, which is better for us," Prakash Singh, who sells jewellery near Lake Pichola, said.

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