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Rajathan's potential CM contenders: Raje, Shekhawat, Meghwal in the race

The BJP participated in the elections without nominating a chief ministerial candidate, relying on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spearhead the campaign

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Annesha Barua
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Rajathan's potential CM contenders: Raje, Shekhawat, Meghwal in the race
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Rajasthan election 2023: The BJP, vying for power in Rajasthan, refrained from nominating a chief ministerial candidate. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led their campaign, propelling the prospects of contenders like two-time Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, 70, who remains a prominent figure in the race. Raje's formidable political presence spans two decades as Rajasthan's BJP face.

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Educated in Kodaikanal and Mumbai, Raje embarked on her political journey in 1984. A five-time Parliament member, she's perceived as an adept administrator but has faced occasional rifts within the party's hierarchy.



Raje, Rajasthan's first female CM, inherited her political legacy from her mother, Vijaya Raje Scindia, a BJP founder and former Lok Sabha member. Her political resurgence in 2003 came under the mentorship of Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

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Following BJP's 2018 electoral loss, Raje distanced herself from the party's activities. Though urged by her supporters for a CM candidature, the party opted for a collective leadership approach, while fielding over 40 of her allies. Raje extensively addressed rallies across the state.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, 56, known as the BJP's Rajput face, emerges as a prominent contender. His stature rose notably after defeating Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot's son in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He's aligned closely with the RSS and the BJP's top echelons, but faces allegations from Gehlot.

Raje reportedly opposed Shekhawat's elevation as Rajasthan BJP chief during her tenure. Ahead of the 2023 polls, Shekhawat played a role in the defection of Gehlot's aide to the BJP.

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Another contender, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, a trusted figure in Modi's circle, is a potential choice. A three-time parliamentarian from Rajasthan, Meghwal, 69, carries a strong administrative image and Dalit representation.

CP Joshi, a two-time MP from Chittorgarh, is also in contention for the state chief role. His recent Lok Sabha victory in 2019, defeating Congress's Girija Vyas, strengthens his candidacy.

Baba Balaknath, BJP's Lok Sabha member from Alwar, stands as a dark horse. With a significant following in eastern Rajasthan, he contests from Tijara, holding an association with UP CM Yogi Adityanath.

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