Lok Sabha elections 2019: Two Olympians slug it out in Rajasthan’s Jaipur Rural

BJP's Rajyavardhan Rathore and Congress's Krishna Poonia. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 16, 2019, 05.06 PM (IST)

The electoral battle in Jaipur Rural constituency in Rajasthan can easily be billed as a clash of the titans as two former Olympians - the BJP's Rajyavardhan Rathore and Congress's Krishna Poonia - are pitted against each other from here for the Lok Sabha polls.

Rathore, a former Colonel in the Indian Army, started his political innings by joining the BJP in September 2013 after taking voluntary retirement.

In 2014, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in Lok Sabha from Jaipur Rural seat and was sworn in as the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting.

In 2017, the Padma Shree awardee was given independent charge of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.

Krishna Poonia, who is the first Indian woman track-and-field athlete to win an individual gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, represents Churu district's Sadulpur assembly seat. She was named the Congress candidate from Jaipur Rural Lok Sabha seat on April 1.

She joined Congress party at an election rally in Churu in 2013 and believes that Congress was the natural choice for her as her family has traditionally supported the party.

The Jaipur Rural Lok Sabha seat, which has 19.33 lakh electorates, 9.12 lakh of them female, is dominated by the Jat community, followed by Brahmin, Yadav and Scheduled Caste voters. The caste equation is favourable for Poonia who belongs to the Jat community.

Of the eight assembly segments in the Lok Sabha constituency, the ruling Congress has five seats, two are with the BJP and one is with an Independent MLA. During the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had five seats while the Congress had two assembly seats falling under the Jaipur Rural constituency.

The 25 parliamentary constituencies of Rajasthan will go to polls in two phases.

Polling will be held in 13 constituencies in the fourth phase on April 29.

The rest of the 12 seats including Jaipur Rural will vote in the fifth phase on May 6.

(With inputs from agencies)