‘Bhalo aadmi hai’ (he is innocent) is how many elderly people described Vaibhav Gehlot, son of chief minister Ashok Gehlot, after he concluded his speech at Bhikamkor village in the Lohawat assembly segment of the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat.
The Sun City of Rajasthan is set for a poll battle between 39-year-old Vaibhav, who is making his electoral debut, and union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (51), a trusted man of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
In the Jodhpur Lok Sabha constituency, the war is between the brands of CM Gehlot and PM Modi, on which both the candidates are banking on. The city will vote on April 29.
A gathering patiently waited for the junior Gehlot at Bhikamkor village. Stepping out from the last vehicle of his convoy, Vaibhav, dressed in white kurta-pyjama and wearing a pink safa (turban), assured people in his speech that he would always stay beside them and raise their issues.
“I will raise your issues as a lawyer and a representative, not only in Delhi but in state capital Jaipur. I will be there in your happiness and sorrow. I am aware of local issues, particularly water crisis, and will work to solve them,” he said, addressing the election meeting in Bhikamkor.
Talking about the state government’s achievements, such as farm loan waiver and unemployment allowance, and other issues mentioned in the Congress manifesto, he hit out at the BJP, saying the party failed to deliver on its promises. He said BJP stalled the Barmer oil refinery project. “Had it started, the youth of Marwar would have got new opportunities. The BJP gave step-motherly treatment to Jodhpur.”
While Vaibhav kept his speech precise, senior Congress leaders and MLAs turned the heat on the BJP, seeking votes for the party’s LS candidate. MLAs from Osian and Lohawat – Divya Maderna and Kishna Ram — urged the people to elect a Congress MP for effective development of the region. “If you want to strengthen us, vote for him (Vaibhav). People supported us and we won as MLAs; the CM is from the region and now the Member of Parliament will help in resolving issues,” said Maderna.
Former Jodhpur MP Chandresh Kumari, who is accompanying Vaibhav in meetings, said , “There was a wave in last elections; people thought good days will come, but now all have seen what has happened.” She added, “Everyone knows Ashok Gehlot and the development he has brought.”
Though a new face, Vaibhav nowhere lacked in popularity among the youth in rural areas, who crowded him to get selfies immediately after meetings were concluded. The young leader enthusiastically gave all the opportunity for a photo-op.
Discussions peaked after the meetings; some criticised the Congress, while a majority preferred to talk issues rather then be swayed away by sentiments. “Elections should be on issues; we are struggling for water for ages but there is no concrete solution; there is lack of teachers at schools and doctors at dispensaries. Speeches to instigate sentiments should not be there to lure votes,” Sukharam Saharan, a youth, told his friends after attending Vaibhav’s meeting at Padasala village in Lohawat area.
In a corner, discussions turned a little hot when the surgical strike (on a terrorist camp in Pakistan) came up. “The strike was by the army and should not be politicised,” Ojha Ram said, putting an end to the discussions.
Vaibhav’s wife Himanshi Gehlot is campaigning for him in city areas.:
In 2014, BJP candidate Gajendra Singh Shekhawat defeated Congress candidate Chandresh Kumari with a margin of over 4 lakh votes.
In 2014, the voting percentage was 62.22%.
Women voters – 9,18,940
Male voters- 10,10,362
Apr 20, 2019 09:49 IST
Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lok-sabha-elections/lok-sabha-elections-2019-vaibhav-gehlot-focuses-on-issues-leaders-turn-heat-on-bjp/story-9ABwL5OKOstkV7p2RU4hoO.html