Jaipur: The prestige Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who is also the PCC president, is at stake in the Monday's Vidhan Sabha by-polls.
The by-elections for the two seats were necessary as the elected legislators from Khinwsar, Hanuman Beniwal, and Mandawa, Narendra Kumar, were elected to the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded General elections in the country.
The ruling Congress was routed in the Lok Sabha election and it lost all the 25 seats after the victory in December 2018 Vidhan Sabha election when it overthrew the Vasundhara Raje government.
The dismal performance in the Lok Sabha election saw the ruling party in poor light. The Congress is organizationally weak and Chief Minister Gehlot and his deputy Pilot are at loggerheads is not a secret.
In Khinwasar, Hanuman Beniwal, a BJP rebel, who founded the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) entered into an alliance with the BJP and he won the Nagaur Lok Sabha seat.
Beniwal is an emerging Jat leader and he was able to reduce the influence of the Mirdhas in Nagaur district. In the last Lok Sabha election, Beniwal defeated Dr Jyoti Mirdha, the granddaughter of late Jat leader Nathur Ram Mirdha. Beniwal has effectively eclipsed the influence of the Mirdha family including Nathuram Mirdha and Ram Niwas Mirdha.
As the seat was won by RLP's Hanuman Beniwal, he was successful in fielding his own brother Narayan Beniwal against Congress' Harendra Mirdha.
Harendra has lost the last three Vidhan Sabha election and is facing a tough battle against Narayan Beniwal. Rita Choudhry, daughter of late Ram Narayan Choudhry, has been fielded by the Congress from Mandawa.
Rita lost the last Vidhan Sabha election from Mandawa by a small margin and she holds a good reputation as a leader. She is opposed by Sunita Seegda, who switched over from the Congress to join the BJP.
She is a panchayat level leader but Rita holds an edge over Suneeta. Both Khinwsar and the Mandawa seats have Jat influence and the Jats are a formidable political community in the state.