Rajasthan Election 2023: With the assembly elections coming closer, every political party in the state is all geared up. Although every election in India is exceptional on its own terms, Rajasthan poses special importance to both the major parties in the region, BJP and the Congress. The most debatable issue right now is the BJP’s probable CM face for Rajasthan.
Out of all the big names on the list, Diya Kumari and Vasundhara Raje have topped the list of speculations. Both leaders share almost equal popularity among the people, belong to the royal family, and are found to be the prime faces in s mobilizing the women's vote bank in the region, as women empowerment ceases to be the prime agenda for BJP in the Rajasthan Election 2023.
1. Maharani v/s Maharani
The two leaders of the BJP, Diya Kumari and Vasundhara Raje belong to the royal reign. Both are referred to as Maharani, both belong to the Rajput community and are ardent supporters of the BJP ideology. All these factors reassure the BJP that even if internal matters aren't going well with Raje, Diya Kumari offers a good substitute for her.
The political journey of Diya Kumari has been quite interesting. Vasundhara Raje was the one who got her into politics. In the 2013 assembly elections, Vasundhara decided to contest Rajkumari from the Sawai Madhopur assembly seat to defeat Dr. Kirori Lal Meena. Diya Kumari won hearts by fueling stoves in households of the poor.
Unfortunately, during the legal case of Royals v/s The State, both these Maharani’s came face to face, resulting in Raje denying ticket to Diya in the 2018 Assembly elections. Surprisingly, this move worked positively for Diya. She was appointed the MP by the party command, and Diya Kumari hasn’t looked back since.
2. Winning the hearts of women
In the previous assembly elections, the BJP was left behind by a mere vote percentage of 0.5 which implies that the Congress party was only 0.5% ahead of the BJP. In order to win the 0.5% votes, the BJP is eying upon the women's vote share in Rajasthan. Notably, the vote share of women has been relatively higher in the state compared to that of men in the previous elections of 2013 and 2018.
Vasundhara Raje undoubtedly enjoys being the most popular face of women leaders in the region. Her popularity was clearly reflected in the Raksha Sutra rally recently. Her presence as the CM face of Rajasthan will work wonders for the BJP in attracting women voters but because of the recent rift between Raje and the party, Diya Kumari comes up as a lifesaver.
3. Efforts to woo Rajput votes
Both Vasundhara Raje and Diya Kumari belong to the Rajput community. During the last elections, the BJP lost because it suffered a backlash from the Rajput community. BJP is putting no stone unturned to mend the gap created after the case of Aanandpal. Rajendra Singh Rathore being appointed as the leader of the opposition is one such step.
In fact, the Rajput population in Rajasthan is around 14% and they influence the vote share at around 60 seats like Jaipur, Jailore, Bikaner, Chittorgarh, and Bhilwara among many others. If the Rajput community faces discontent in any of these seats, the BJP is bound to lose this election.
Here, Diya Kumari can play an important role as she also shares her legacy of Maharani Gayatri Devi. Giving her an important post will send a strong message to the Rajput community.
On the other side, we have Vasundhara Raje who calls herself to be Kshatrani's daughter, Jats' daughter-in-law, and Gujjars' kin. With this, she has successfully nailed all three communities, namely Jatt, Gujjar, and the Rajputs. If Vasundhara’s resentment towards the BJP continues, the Gujjar vote may also fall in the Congress camp.
Devi Singh Bhati in a recent interview said, "Raje has an important role in the party and politics. She has brought a majority two times in the state, that no one can bring. Party hasn't decided to use a face until now."