Voting in Rajasthan’s Ramgarh assembly constituency on Monday

Around 5,000 employees, including state police and paramilitary personnel, have been deployed to ensure a free and fair election in Ramgarh assembly constituency on Monday, district election officer Inderjeet Singh said.

Earlier, the election for the Ramgarh seat, scheduled on December 7, 2018, was postponed due to the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.

Singh said 27 sector magistrates have been deputed in the constituency, which have 278 polling centres for more than 235,000 voters. There are 20 candidates in the poll fray.

The returning officer, Pankaj Sharma said on Sunday that polling parties have reached Ramgarh. About 2,147 jawans of paramilitary forces, Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) and Rajasthan police have been deployed in the constituency, where 122 polling booths have been identified as “critical”, including 70 “most sensitive” booths, he said.

Political experts said although there are 20 candidates in the fray, the main contest will be among Congress candidate Saphia Zubair Khan, BJP candidate Sukhwant Singh and BSP candidate Jagat Singh. This is the first time in 20 years that the constituency will see a triangular fight, they added.

Zubair Khan of Congress and Gyan Deo Ahuja of BJP have been contesting on this seat for more than 20 years, but this time, both of them were denied tickets by their parties.

Some BSP MLAs are working for BSP candidate Jagat Singh. His wife Somaya is also canvassing for him. Jagat Singh’s father, former foreign affairs minister Natwar Singh, is also in the field.

Congress candidate Saphia Zubair Khan is getting support from local party leaders. Former central minister Jitendra Singh has worked hard in the constituency. Health Minister Raghu Sharma supervised the campaign. The election meeting of chief minister Ashok Gehlot and deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot on Sunday drew “good crowd”.

Political expert HS Goyal said that the Congress candidate seems to have an edge because her party is the ruling party in the state. The BSP candidate could not make a dent into the Meo-Muslims votes, he added. Another expert Professor JM Tayal said the contest was between the Congress and the BJP.

For the BJP candidate, party’s district president Sanjay Naruka said that BJP has good organisation in Ramgarh, which will help its candidate. Gyan Deo Ahuja said BJP will win the election.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 08:32 IST

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