Congress’ Mewaram Jain is eyeing a fourth consecutive win in Barmer, but is facing a tough challenge from Dr Priyanka Choudhary, a BJP candidate in the 2014 elections, but this time as an independent candidate. Choudhary was sure of getting a BJP ticket after the exit of Sonaram Jat, who joined Congress, but the BJP fielded Deepak Kadvasra, whose grandfather was also an MLA from this seat. Kadvasra has worked in the BJP organization for a long time. The announcement came as a shock for Choudhary, who had already filed her nomination before the ticket announcement, as she was sure the party would announce her name, but BJP announced Kadvasra.
Priyanka Choudhary is the granddaughter of former minister Gangaram Choudhary, a tall Jat leader in the BJP from Barmer and she has been an associate of Barmer MP and Union Minister Kailash Choudhary. A source in the party said the reason she was denied a ticket by the BJP was due to her family’s association with former Governor Satyapal Malik. Malik has constantly criticized the central government led by the BJP. Priyanka Choudhary first contested the 2013 Rajasthan Assembly elections from Barmer constituency, where she was defeated by Congress’s Mewaram Jain. However, the main reason behind her defeat in that election was Dr Mradu Rekha Choudhary, who was a BJP rebel and contested independently, securing 12% of total votes, while the winning margin between Mewaram Jain of Congress and Priyanka Choudhary of the BJP was only four percent. She was denied a ticket in 2018 by the BJP when it fielded veteran leader Sonaram Jat, whom the BJP fielded to defeat Mewaram Jain, but he lost to Congress’s Mewaram Jain by a margin of 17%.
Choudhary is gaining popularity among senior citizens due to her grandfather Gangaram Choudhary’s tall standing; however, the youths in the area are finding hope in the national parties, primarily the BJP. The release of the BJP manifesto targeting youths has made it difficult for both Choudhary and Congress to get votes. Speaking on her being expelled from the BJP, Choudhary said, “36 biradri in Barmer have blessed me, and RLP has also extended its support, which signifies that people are voting for a change in Barmer”.