Meena brothers Namo Narain and Harish Chandra, both former IPS officers, once had a common enemy — the anti-social elements of the society. Politics, however, has lined them up against each other in a fight.
Both are contesting from Dausa Lok Sabha seat in east Rajasthan.
Elder brother Namo Narain Meena, 70, is the Congress candidate, while Harish Chandra Meena, 59, is the BJP’s pick for the seat.
Congress candidate Namo Narain Meena and BJP candidate Harish Chandra Meena.(HT photo)
Namo Narain, a 1969-batch IPS officer and recipient of Presidential Police Medal and Presidential Distinguished Service Medal, is the political stalwart of the family. A two-time MP, he is the Union minister of state for finance.
He won the Sawai Madhopur Lok Sabha seat in 2004. In 2009, he won again, from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur constituency by beating Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla, who was the BJP candidate. It was a close shave for Namo Narain, though. His winning margin was 317 votes, the lowest of the 2009 general elections.
Harish Chandra, a 1976-batch IPS officer, took voluntary retirement to enter politics. He was director general of police (DGP) during Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan. His last posting was as secretary (security), cabinet secretariat in Delhi.
He is making his political debut, but Namo Narain will only be acutely aware of his younger brother’s combative nature.
As a DGP, Harish Chandra came in for massive criticism in 2011 for demanding that new recruits into the state’s police force be selected only if they could run 10 km in an hour.
Unfortunately, many aspirants were unequal to the task. Nearly 70 fainted and a 23-year-old candidate died in Bikaner.
Instead of backtracking, the then 56-year-old police chief ran 10 km in 47 minutes and wondered why young men wanting to join the police force should not be able to run the distance in an hour. Read: Rajasthan DGP sets example for young cops
Namo Narain is clear about the poll fight, which, according to him, is not between brothers, but parties and their ideologies.
“Harish is my brother and will always remain so. Neither will I speak against him nor will he against me."
Dausa goes to polls on April 24.
(Edited by Abhinav)