As Rajasthan gears up for assembly elections next month, the ruling BJP and its main challenger Congress have fielded a number of doctors in the electoral fray. These include cardiac surgeons, radio therapy specialists and physicians, as also professors and doctorate degree holders.
While both the BJP and the Congress have fielded more doctors for this election than the last polls in 2013, leaders say there were several more who were hopeful to secure tickets but lagged behind in the race.
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Voting will take place on December 7 for 200 assembly seats in Rajasthan, which has about 4.75 core registered voters and where the power has traditionally been with the BJP or the Congress. Party leaders feel the doctors, especially those in the medical profession, tend to have wide reach in the society and therefore stand a good chance to win elections. In the 2013 elections, at least 15 doctors had tested electoral waters -- including nine from the Congress and six from the BJP. The numbers have gone up the upcoming polls with at least 19 doctors in fray -- 11 from the Congress and 7 from the BJP.
The BJP candidates include sitting MLA and minister Dr Ram Pratap from Hanumangarh, Dr Vishwanath Meghwal from Khajuwala and Dr Shailesh Singh (son of late former BJP minister Digamber Singh) from Deeg.
The BJP list also includes doctorate degree holders including Dr Manju Baghmar from Jayal, Dr Phool Chand Bhinda from Virat Nagar and Dr Arun Chaturvedi from Civil Lines, Jaipur.
On the other hand, the Congress has fielded former head of radiology department at state-run SMS Hospital, Dr R.C Yadav from Behror. He had fought the election as an independent candidate in 2013 assembly elections.
Dr Karan Singh Yadav, a sitting MP from Alwar, has also been given ticket to contest assembly election from Mundawar seat. Other Congress candidates include Dr Jitendra Singh from Khetri, Dr Shiv Charan from Dholpur, besides several doctorate degree holders.