Rise of another Yogi in Rajasthan? BJP's critical pick Mahant Balak Nath leads against Congress's Imran Khan in Tijara
Tijara: Rajasthan is witnessing the rise of another saffron-clad leader Mahant Balak Nath, much like Uttar Pradesh saw the surge of Yogi Adityanath over a decade ago.
Sharpening its arsenal against Congress in Rajasthan where it faced the major challenge of unseating the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress regime, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) selected Balak Nath as its candidate from the Tijara assembly constituency.
Balak Nath, a Member of Parliament (MP) from Alwar, is contesting against Imran Khan of the Congress in the critical Assembly election
BJP’s choice stems from the fact that each seat is important to pummel the Congress in Rajasthan.
As per real-time updates from the Tijara assembly seat, Balak Nath is currently in the lead against the Congress candidate Imran Khan.
Media reports said the monk could also be the BJP’s choice to helm the state if it wins the Rajasthan polls.
According to an exit poll, the data indicated that among those surveyed, 10% expressed a preference for Balak Nath to be the next Chief Minister of Rajasthan, India Today reported.
Ashok Gehlot topped the list, with 32% of respondents favouring him for the position of the next chief minister.
A total of 21% of the surveyed people indicated that they were open to any leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assuming the role of the chief minister.
Balak Nath has portrayed himself like Yogi Adityanath in Rajasthan, adopting similar strategies and symbolism, the imagery of bulldozers, a symbol closely associated with Yogi Adityanath's governance in Uttar Pradesh.
Yogi Adityanath has also shown support for Balak Nath by accompanying him during the filing of nomination papers and actively participating in his campaign.
Balak Nath, 39, has studied till class 12 and has a sum of Rs 14 lakhs in his account, as revealed by his nomination paper.
He is the 8th Mahant of Mastnath Mutt in Rohtak and belongs to the same Nath sect of Yogi Adityanath. He refers to Adityanath as his "elder brother," showing the close association and mutual respect between the two leaders.
Mastnath Mutt is the largest institution of the Nath sect and runs various educational institutions and hospitals as part of its extensive network.
In the 2018 assembly elections, the Tijara constituency, situated in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, was won by Sandeep Kumar from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
He secured a win by defeating Aimaduddin Ahmad Khan, also known as Durru Mian, from the Congress party with a margin of 4,457 votes, equivalent to 2.40%.
In the November 2023 elections, the Tijara Assembly constituency recorded a substantial voter turnout of 85.70%, with 182,672 valid votes cast out of the 213,153 registered voters.
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