Jaipur: Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Friday expressed confidence of retaining Rajasthan in the Assembly Elections 2018, saying that the state has always been with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking to media at a rally in Jaipur ahead of the Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018, Rathore said that the people of the state understand the pace at which the nation is progressing and will continue to support the party.

“Rajasthan has always been with Bharatiya Janata Party and today also when 20 states are with BJP, it is with BJP and PM Narendra Modi. Every citizen of Rajasthan understands the pace at which the nation is progressing under PM Modi. People of Rajasthan will come out to vote,” Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said.

Meanwhile, the Congress party on Thursday released a list of 152 candidates contesting in the Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018, after a meeting of the Congress Central Election Committee. While former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will contest the December 7 Assembly elections from his traditional Sardarpura seat, the Congress’ state unit chief Sachin Pilot will contest from Tonk.

Although the chief ministerial face of the party has not yet been announced, two-time Chief Minister Gehlot and Pilot are considered to be the front-runners. Pilot, a former MP from Dausa and Ajmer, will contest the assembly polls for the first time. The party has also fielded former Union Ministers C.P. Joshi and Girija Vyas from Nathdwara and Udaipur assembly seats, respectively.

The party has denied tickets to three sitting MLAs — Ghanshyam Mehar from Todabhim, Narayan Singh from Dataramgarh and Hiralal from Jhadol.