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Can Rivaba Jadeja get out of the park for the BJP?

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rivaba Jadeja has made her electoral debut with the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls. She is the party candidate in Jamnagar North constituency.

Rivaba, who has been in the saffron camp for less than three years, replaced incumbent MP Dharmendrasinh M Jadeja, popularly known as Hakuba. He had won the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections with 59% of the vote and a margin of 41,000.

With his campaign in full swing, Rivaba aims to secure his first election victory by defeating his main rival candidates – veteran Congress leader Bipendrasinh Chatursinh Jadeja and Karsan Karmur of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Who is Rivaba Jadeja? What challenges does she face in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections? Let’s take a closer look.

Who is Rivaba Jadeja?

Rivaba, the wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, is from Rajkot. She made the leap into politics in 2019 by joining the BJP.

Rivaba, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering, comes from a family with Rajput heritage and an ancient royal lineage, reports NDTV.

She is a relative of Congress veteran Hari Singh Solanki; her sister-in-law Nainaba Jadeja is secretary of the women’s wing of the Congress in Gujarat.

In 2018, Rivaba was appointed as the female wing chairwoman of the Rajput group Karni Sena in Gujarat.

This group has made headlines for their protests, including against the Bollywood film Padmaavat.

She credited her husband with inspiring her to join politics and says the cricketer and meeting Modi in November 2018 was a turning point in that regard, reports The Hindu.

Ravindra Jadeja and his wife, Rivaba, met Prime Minister Modi in 2018. News18 Hindi File Photo

Why she joined the BJP, Rivaba had said Indian Express in 2019, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an inspiration to me. His personality, his identity, the way he led the nation, his vision for the country and the identity of Hindustan that he shaped in the world is a matter of pride for every citizen.

Mobilizing support for his candidacy, Rivaba has already covered over 200 villages in his constituency of Jamnagar North.

According PTI, after being fielded by the BJP, Rivaba Jadeja had said, “I will do my best to help people, raise their issues and fight for them. I would consider myself lucky if I could do that.”

Ravindra Jadeja will also campaign for his wife and BJP candidate from Tuesday, November 22. “We will go to separate places according to the directions and the schedule of the party. People want to meet him. ‘Unki taraf se woh mehnat kar rahe hain mere liye“(he works hard for me),” Rivaba said. News18.

Challenges for Rivaba Jadeja

Among the many challenges Rivaba faces is getting her own house in order.

Dharmendrasinh, the incumbent BJP MP for Jamnagar North, has represented the seat twice. He was dropped by the party after the Gujarat High Court refused to drop criminal charges against him in a riot case.

BJP workers believe that even though she is not a known face in the constituency like Dharmendrasinh, she would still be able to score a win.

“Unlike Hakuba, locals don’t know her well. His only connection to the city is Ravindra Jadeja. We are sure of a victory in the next elections, but the margin should be slim,” said Balbhadrasinh Jadeja, a party member. Indian Express.

Rivaba, who is from the Kshatriya community, reached out to BJP officials in several municipal wards and pleaded with them to treat her as their ‘dikri Where damn‘ (daughter or daughter-in-law), reports The Hindu.

Meanwhile, incumbent MP Hakuba is in charge of all three seats in Jamnagar, sources said. The Hindu.

He accompanies Rivaba during his campaign and when asked if it is true that he is not interested in the polls, he said News18“I was by her side whenever she needed me.”

Rivaba’s other challenge starts at home – Nainaba, who is campaigning for Congress candidate Bipendrasinh Jadeja.

While Nainaba confidently stated that her sister-in-law’s chances of victory are low, Rivaba denied rumors of a feud with her relative.

Nainaba told the news agency PTI that Rivaba carries the label of “celebrity” which would not work to his advantage. “She (Rivaba Jadeja) is a celebrity. I don’t think her candidacy will help the BJP win this seat. People want leaders who do their job and stand by them in times of crisis. People prefer leaders who answer their phone calls. I don’t think she (Rivaba) will get more votes because she’s a celebrity. People know that celebrities don’t do people’s jobs,” the Congress leader said. quoted by the news agency.

Rivaba claimed that there was no feud in the family due to her and Nainaba’s political choices, saying they simply believed in different ideologies.

“Even on our hands, all the fingers are not the same size, likewise the ideologies can also be different. My sister-in-law is influenced by another ideology and works there; in the same way, I am influenced by the BJP and I fulfill my duties. There is only a difference of opinion and no personal difference between the two of us,” she said. ANI.

The first-time candidate also does not see the AAP as a challenge. “They are foreigners. Just saying a few things on social media or talking about Gujarat at out-of-state gatherings means nothing. A third political force has never succeeded in Gujarat and will not,” she said, according to The Hindu.

Congress candidate Bipendrasinh, who is also chairman of the Jamnagar Chamber of Commerce, calls Rivaba an “outsider”.

“Rivaba is an outsider and that’s my advantage. I am a local candidate. I walk 7 to 10 kilometers during my door-to-door campaign. I am accompanied by none other than Naina Jadeja,” said the leader, who is also the general secretary of the Gujarat Congress Committee. Indian Express.

“Second, 34% of voters in Jamnagar North are under 30 and have seen the BJP fail to deliver on its promises. This group will help me win,” he added.

Rivaba’s efforts to woo voters

According The quintetthe BJP candidate in Jamnagar North spoke about women’s physical and mental health, raised awareness about girls’ education and promoted state and central government programs in a video aimed at rallying support for the election.

She has also visited temples and made sure to greet and click pictures with voters.

Jamnagar North seat has over 2.61 lakh voters out of which 40,000 voters are from minorities, 30,000 are from Kshyatria community, 19,000 are from Scheduled Caste (SC) and 17,000 are Patidars, notes Indian Express.

The constituency is among the 89 Assembly seats to be elected on December 1 in the first phase of Gujarat elections. Voting for the remaining 93 constituencies will take place on December 5, with the counting of votes on December 8.

With contributions from agencies

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