Third front parties make inroads as Rajasthan polls near


In Rajasthan’s legislative assembly elections, Congress and BJP have consistently dominated the political landscape. The significance of the third front has never materialised in the state. Expectations for the third front have been raised once again this time. Several parties have entered the electoral arena, but their success will depend on the election results.
Since the 1980 legislative assembly elections in Rajasthan, governments have been formed by either the BJP or Congress. Amidst this, parties like BSP, CPM, and RLP, among others, have created their vote banks, but they have never succeeded in gaining power on their own merit. From 1998 until now, in the past 25 years, only two individuals have held the position of Chief Minister in Rajasthan. These two are Ashok Gehlot and Vasundhara Raje. Gehlot has held the position three times, and Raje has held it twice.
This time, these parties are in the race:
This time, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, Mayawati’s BSP, Hanuman Beniwal’s RLP and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM have entered the electoral battlefield in Rajasthan. Additionally, Shiv Sena, led by Eknath Shinde, which is a component of the NDA, may make a significant impact in Rajasthan. Recently, legislator Rajendra Gudha joined Shiv Sena, which indicates that Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) can field its candidates. Similarly, CPI, CPM, Samajwadi Party, BJP, Bharatiya Adivasi Party, JJP, and Bahujan Mukti Morcha have also declared their participation in the battle.
RLP is gaining strength:
Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) is gaining momentum this time. The party, formed just five years ago, fielded 58 candidates in its first election. Three of them won, and RLP candidates on half a dozen seats gave direct competition to Congress and BJP candidates. By securing 3% of the total votes, RLP made a significant mark. The party’s national coordinator, Hanuman Beniwal, claims that this time his party will contest all 200 seats. Beniwal states that without the support of the third front, no party will be able to form the government in Rajasthan this time.
BSP won six seats twice:
Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won six seats in the 2008 and 2018 legislative assembly elections, but both times, Congress formed the government in the state. Ashok Gehlot became the Chief Minister both times. All BSP candidates who won on the party’s tickets in these two elections joined Congress. This time, BSP will contest with the AAP and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM on two dozen seats. AIMIM’s entry into the electoral arena will likely divert Muslim votes, which could be a significant loss for Congress.