The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued its second list of 83 candidates for the upcoming Rajasthan legislative assembly elections. Notably, the party has fielded former two-time chief minister Vasundhara Raje for the Jhalrapatan assembly constituency, a seat she has held since 2003, when she first became the Chief Minister.
Other prominent candidates listed in the second announcement include Rajendra Rathod (Taranagar), former state chief Satish Puniya (Amber), Kalicharan Saraf (Malviya Nagar), Vasudev Devnani (Ajmer North), Narpat Singh Rajvi (Chittorgarh), and Anita Bhadel (Ajmer South).
The political landscape in Rajasthan has seen shifts between the Congress and BJP over the years. The Congress dominated state politics until 1990, except for a brief interlude in 1977 when the BJP secured a victory. In 1990, the BJP won the assembly election under Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, but their tenure was curtailed due to events surrounding the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. The BJP made a successful return to power in 1993, under Shekhawat's leadership, marking the only instance of a party repeating its electoral victory in the state.
In 1998, the Congress emerged victorious and formed the government under Ashok Gehlot. However, the Congress could not replicate this success in the 2003 assembly elections when the BJP won 120 seats, and the Congress secured just 56.
In 2008, the Congress became the single largest party with 96 seats, while the BJP secured 78. Gehlot assumed the position of Chief Minister once again, forming the government with the support of independent candidates.
In 2013, the Congress faced a resounding defeat, with the BJP winning 163 seats and Vasundhara Raje returning as Chief Minister. In 2018, the Congress regained power, winning 100 seats while the BJP secured 72. Following a brief deadlock, the Congress appointed Gehlot as Chief Minister and Sachin Pilot as his deputy, leading to a period of intense power struggles between the two leaders.
Rajasthan is one of the five states set to hold elections, along with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Mizoram. Rajasthan will vote in a single-phase election on November 25, with the vote count scheduled for December 3.