Modi set to retain his Rajasthan fort

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to repeat its 2014 stellar performance in Rajasthan as the latest trends show the party leading in 24 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state, with its ally the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party leading in the other seat.

The Congress, which has a wafer-thin majority in the state assembly, has failed to breach the BJP fortress of Bikaner, Churu, Jhalawar and Jalore where lotus has bloomed in the last three parliamentary elections.

In the Bakiner seat, union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal is leading by more than 260,000 votes over his cousin and former Indian Police Service officer Madan Gopal Meghwal.

Arjun Ram Meghwal had won the seat in 2009 and 2014 and before him, it was veteran Bollywood actor Dharmendra won the seat for BJP in 2004.

The Jat-dominated Churu parliamentary seat has been a BJP bastion for over a decade now. Former MP Ram Singh Kaswan’s son Rahul is leading in the seat by 329000 votes over Congress’ Rafiq Mandelia.

Dushyant Singh, the son of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, is leading by over 430000 votes and is all set to get elected for the fourth time from Jhalawar seat. The Congress had fielded Pramod Sharma, who had joined the party from the BJP.

Raje had represented the constituency in the parliament for five consecutive terms from 1989 to 2004.

In Jalore, the BJP’s sitting MP Devi Ji Patel is leading by 261000 votes over the Congress’ Ratan Devasi.

Patel won the seat in 2009 and 2014 while in 2004 the saffron party’s B Susheela was elected from the seat.

The BJP alone had won all the 25 parliamentary seats in the state in 2014.