The party even repeated candidates who lost out in previous elections from the same constituencies in the hope that they were known faces in their areas. These candidates are expected to close in on the sitting Congress legislators, who are battling anti-incumbency and have been repeated. Congress minister Brij Kishore Sharma, who has been repeated from Hawamahal constituency is pitted against former BJP legislator Surendra Pareek, a formidable candidate for the seat.
The party is also poised to give stiff competition to several prominent Congress leaders by pitting contenders with high `winnability'. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is likely to face heat on his home turf Sardarpura and as speculated, a Rajput candidate Shambhu Singh Khetasar has been fielded against him. Urban Development and Housing minister Shanti Dhariwal will face Prahlad Gunjal on the Kota (North) seat while Pratap Singh Khachariawas will be pitted against former BJP state president Arun Chaturvedi on the Civil Lines seat. It is being anticipated that the Congress too is planning to close in on BJP's chief ministerial candidate Vasundhara Raje on her home turf Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar and as a retaliatory measure the BJP is trying to keep the Congress leadership busier in their home constituencies.
The trusted faces will continue to hold fort in their respective constituencies such as Devi Singh Bhati from Kolayat, Rao Rajendra Singh from Shahpura, Gulab Chand Kataria from Udaipur and Dr Digambar Singh from Deeg Kumher. Former minister and prime accused in the Dara Singh fake encounter case Rajendra Rathore, however, has been shifted out of Taranagar to Churu. Raje dissenter Ghanshyam Tiwari got a ticket from Sanganer.
The erstwhile royals of Rajasthan, who are also being looked up to as the prominent youth faces of the party, have found a spot in the list. Siddhi Kumari of Bikaner royalty has been repeated from Bikaner East and Rohini Kumari from Karauli. Jaipur royal family scion Diya Kumari, who was keen on a ticket from Hawamahal constituency where the City Palace is located, was fielded from Sawai Madhopur.
Out of the 176 candidates declared, 24 are Scheduled Tribe candidates, 30 Scheduled Caste, 20 women candidates, two former parliamentarians and 35 youth candidates, said party national general secretary Ananth Kumar, who released the list in New Delhi Tuesday. The party has fielded two ST candidates on general seats.