Jaipur, Oct 28 (SocialNews.XYZ) With the BJP pitting Maharana Pratap's descendant Vishvaraj Singh Mewar against Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Dr. CP Joshi, the contest in the Nathdwara seat is among the most-talked-about in the desert state.
Everyone is waiting to see if the 2008 episode, when CP Joshi lost the Assembly election by just one vote, will be repeated this time around.
It is said that apart from Ashok Gehlot, Dr. Joshi was also being considered as a chief ministerial candidate at that time, but his dream was shattered by just one vote.
In the historic 2008 elections a total of 51 per cent votes were cast in which the BJP's Kalyan Singh got 62,216 votes, while CP Joshi got 62,215 votes.
CP Joshi was elected MLA from Nathdwara in 1980 and after that he won Assembly elections from that seat in 1985, 1998, 2003 and 2018. Apart from being a five-time MLA, he was also an MP from Bhilwara once.
Given CP Joshi’s impressive track record, defeating him will not be easy for the BJP here. Hence, the saffron party has fielded Vishvaraj Singh Mewar, who belongs to the erstwhile Mewar royal family.
This descendant of Maharana Pratap was declared the candidate for the Nathdwara seat just three days after joining the BJP.
Now, questions are being raised if the 2008 episode can be repeated in Nathdwara.
Political experts say that though this seat is a stronghold of the Congress because of CP Joshi, the BJP has been lucky here a few times, especially after fielding a Rajput candidate. Also, the victory of the BJP and the defeat of the Congress’ stalwart by just one vote are historic, and people are keenly watching the contest this time around.
Nathdwara, where thousands of devotees from all over the country flock to offer prayers to Lord Shrinathji, is just 45 km from Udaipur city, making it the nearest city to the capital of Mewar. Therefore, Udaipur also makes an impact here.
The number of voters in Nathdwara is 2.34 lakh and of this, about 80,000 voters are from the Rajput community. After this it is dominated by the tribals and then the Brahmin community.
The competition between the two contestants will be tough because while CP Joshi has been a MLA from this seat five times, the Mewar scion is also a renowned name. He has often raised his voice for the Rajputs and led from the front when the community raised objections to the film ‘Padmaavat’.
Mewar has also been vocal for the cause of the environment and has been voicing his concern over the destruction of architecture in the old city of Udaipur.
Also, he is against the altering of the centuries-old established water management system, which he says can prove disastrous in times to come.
With two strong contenders in the fray, only time will tell if Nathdwara will create history yet again by changing political equations in this much-talked-about seat.