As Rajasthan goes to the assembly polls on December 7, one of the most awaited battles in the elections is between former BJP member turned Congress candidate Manvendra Singh against Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. On the fight Singh has said it was an “uphill task” to beat in her political fortress of Jhalrapatan, but he was here to “fight and win” the election.
With a battle cry of “Jhalawar azaad hoga (Jhalawar will be free)”, Singh said he is determined to live up to the challenge of taking on his formidable opponent.
“I am here to fight and win the election and not to contest for the sake of contesting,” the son of former BJP leader Jaswant Singh said.
Manvendra Singh, who crossed over from the BJP to the Congress just weeks before joining the electoral fray, said when he was asked to fight against the chief minister, it took him just a second to accept the challenge.
Asked if he was viewing it as a “David and Goliath” battle, Singh answered in the negative.
“It is an uphill task no doubt. I am not belittling the challenge. It is an uphill task and I don’t see myself as David at all. Besides the three Vidhan Sabha victories, she (Raje) has been MP from here for five times,” Singh told PTI in an interview.
“She has an advantage of 30 years and I have to cover that handicap of 30 years in 15 days. So it is a challenge… but it is a challenge I am living up to,” said Singh, who had contested and won from Sheo assembly seat in 2013.
Rejecting his rivals’ claims of being seen as an outsider here, Singh said he has been accepted “very wholeheartedly, very warmly” by the people of Jhalrapatan.
It doesn’t take people more than a day or two to know whether one belongs to them or not, Singh said.
On the kind of feedback he was getting after campaigning extensively in the Jhalrapatan constituency, Singh said: “I am being realistic. I am not pinning my hopes on a miracle, but it is not impossible. I am getting very positive feedback from the people and from the Congress workers who have been toiling on this seat for many years.”