Vasundhara Raje’s close follower Congress’ Kota candidate

Prahlad Gunjal

Rama Krishna Sangem

After losing power in Rajasthan in recent assembly elections, Congress is moving its pawns cleverly. The party on March 25, Monday released its sixth list of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, naming five nominees for Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. In Rajasthan, Congress fielded former CM Vasundhara Raje’s close follower Prahlad Gunjal from Kota LS seat.

The party decided to field Ramchandra Choudhary from Ajmer, Sudarshan Rawat from Rajsamand, Dr Damodar Gurjar from Bhilwara, and Prahlad Gunjal from Kota. For Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli, it named advocate C. Robert Bruce.

Notably, Gunjal will fight to win the Kota seat, attempting to oust the outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Considered as a “close aide” of former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Gunjal switched to the Congress party on Thursday, stating that he cannot compromise with self-respect.


Prahlad Gunjal was BJP MLA

He was the MLA from Kota North twice earlier but had lost the last assembly polls. He is seen as a very vocal leader, and with his arrival, Congress is expected to benefit the Hadoti region.

The new list was launched a day after the party named three candidates in the fifth list, two for Rajasthan and one for Maharashtra.

Interestingly, one of the three candidates was actually a replacement in the Jaipur constituency. The party axed earlier candidate Sunil Sharma’s poll pass and gave it to former Rajasthan minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas. The development followed after a social media outrage and concerns from Congress members over Sharma’s name, who is reportedly linked to ‘The Jaipur Dialogues’, a platform which routinely criticises the Congress and is said to be a ‘pro-BJP’ organisation.

Rajasthan will go to polls in two phases – on April 19 and April 26. In the last polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance had won all 25 seats in the state, including one by its former ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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