Congressmen on Monday elected former jila pramukh of Jhunjhunu, Rajbala Ola, as their candidate for the Jhunjhunu Lok Sabha seat through the US-style primaries introduced by Rahul Gandhi.
She is daughter-in-law of late union minister Sisram Ola.
Wife of former state minister for disaster and relief management Brijendra Ola, Rajbala was declared winner of Jhunjhunu primary with 61.76% votes in her favour.
Of the two candidates in fray, Rajbala received 504 votes while runner-up Shravan Kumar got 287. There were 968 voters identified of which 816 cast their votes. 25 votes were rejected.
Rajbala not only faced contest from Kumar but from her own son Amit Ola and MD Chopdar, general secretary of the party’s district minority cell. However, Amit and Chopdar’s nominations were rejected by the party after scrutiny.
Kumar is a four-time consecutive MLA from Pilani and Suratgarh assembly constituencies.
During a 10-minute speech before the polling Rajbala claimed that she would continue to serve the people like her husband and father-in-law. Emphasising on her experience and qualifications, she asked the workers to support her by looking at the work done by her family members for the people.
Unlike the primary process in Bikaner, Juhujhunu did not prove to be a smooth sailing with a section of party workers standing up against the process and demanding ticket to a member of the Ola family. A party leader said supporters of Ola family were not in favour of the primary process and demanded direct ticket to Rajbala few days back.
However, after rounds of meeting held by in-charge Sushil Sharma the issue was resolved.
In addition to it, Rajbala faced opposition from her own son Amit Ola which showed a rift in the family, he added. In Bikaner, ex-MP from Ganganagar, Shankar Pannu (64), was elected as party candidate for the Bikaner Lok Sabha seat.
Of three candidates in contest, Pannu received 459 votes, second runner-up Rewatram Panwar got 165 and Mangi Lal Nayak settled with just 22. There were 993 voters identified of which 673 cast their votes. 27 votes were rejected.
The party under a new formula of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had conducted US-style primaries as a pilot project for the coming general elections in 16 constituencies of which two are in Rajasthan -- Bikaner and Jhunjhunu.