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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

4 candidates in primaries of Jhunjhunu Lok Sabha seat

Ht Correspondent  Jaipur , February 26, 2014
First Published: 15:13 IST(26/2/2014) | Last Updated: 15:17 IST(26/2/2014)

Jaipur: The open-door policy of the Congress to elect candidate for the Jhunjhunu Lok Sabha seat could not attract a sizeable number of contestants on the last date of nomination on Tuesday. The party received only four applications for the Jhunjhunu parliamentary constituency.
The seat has been lying vacant since the demise of senior Congress leader Sis Ram Ola on December 15 last year. Ola was a five-time MP from the Jhunjhunu constituency. Bikaner too, had received just four nominations, the polling of which will be held in Bikaner primary on Wednesday.
The primaries - the first stage of selection - conducted for the selected candidate for the Jhunjhunu seat, was a potboiler of the old battle of supremacy between the family of Ola and former MLA Shrawan Kumar. The stalwart leader, Ola, had kept Kumar at bay till
now.
 But now that the octogenarian no more, Kumar has become a major political threat to his lineage in Jhunjhunu. 
“About 950 voters were identified and four nominations have been filed for the Jhunjhunu seat on Tuesday. They will be scrutinised on February 27 and voting will be held on March 3,” said Sushil Sharma, a Congress observer of the Jhunjhunu primaries.
Interestingly, Rajbala Ola, the former Zila Pramukh and daughter-in-law of Ola will face her own son Amit Ola, among others who have filed nominations for the seat. The other candidate is the general secretary of the party’s district minority cell, MD Chopdar.
“There are two different views here. The youth want me to take forward the ideas of Rahul Gandhi, while some established leaders in Jhunjhunu want my mother to contest. Only time will tell as to who will get the ticket to contest the polls,” Amit Ola, the grandson of former MP Sis Ram Ola, said. His mother, Rajbala, could not be contacted for
comments.
But political experts in Jhunjhunu are not considering Amit as a serious contender. Sources said that the Ola family has been in consultation with the elders of the Jat community and senior Congress workers since the past two months now.
“The main fight is going to be among Rajbala and Kumar,” Mangu Singh Shekhawat, a senior journalist based in Jhunjhunu, said. 
The party under a new formula of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is conducting US-style primaries as a pilot project for the upcoming general elections in 16 constituencies, of which two are in Rajasthan - Bikaner and
Jhunjhunu.
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