The electoral battle is getting tougher for Congress legislator Ashok Chandana in Bhilwara Lok Sabha seat. Former MP and district BJP president Subhash Bahedia will take on Chandana in the elections.
“Congress has considered his young legislator Ashok Chandana from Hindauli instead of Dr CP Joshi because he belongs to Gujjar community and won in last assembly election, along with four other Gujjar MLAs, in the Bhilwara parliamentary constituency, which comprises eight assembly segments,” said Anil Dangi, president, district congress committee, while talking to HT.
“Chandana is the most deserving replacement for Joshi,” he added.
Joshi, despite many controversies and allegation of favoritism to a core group, drew applause even from Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) leaders, who have appreciated his vision and work for the long-term development of the district.
During a discussion, Om Prakash Agarwal, a staunch BJP supporter, said, “Joshi initiated some good projects for Bhilwara and their results came later; the six national highway road projects sanctioned for a district is not a minute job. He (Joshi) has vision for development of a constituency like Bhilwara.”
Joshi, however, refused to contest the general election from Bhilwara again saying, “I couldn’t fulfil promises made by me for Bhilwara people, especially for drinking water problem.”
For the textile city, where Joshi won in 2009 by a margin of 1.38 lakh votes, the MP initiated several development projects.
He brings MEMU coach factory, which is slated to be operational in two years. Its estimated cost will be `1,000 crore.
It was Joshi’s influence the state government allotted 1,292 bigha of land to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited free-of-cost to establish MEMU coach factory.
Most desirable of projects for Bhilwara, however, is the Chambal Drinking Water Project, which is expected to be completed in 2016.
With a cost `2,224 crore, it is the second largest water scheme in Rajasthan. The work order of first phase of the project worth `614 crore is in progress.
For providing employment to the youths in rural areas, Joshi got sanctioned a steel plant in Banera-Jahajpur area and took a deep interest for allotment of iron ore mines to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), which would invest more than `10,000 crore during the next five years. The MOU was signed in October 2013.
But he had to pass through an embarrassing situation two-three times during his tenure.
His close aide Ram Lal Jat, a former minister, was expelled from the state cabinet in a suspected death of a woman, who was allegedly close to him. Joshi protested against then chief minister Ashok Gehlot on the issue and took up the matter with AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, but in vain.
Besides, the local unit of BJP is demanding a high-level probe for “anomalies” in highway construction to benefit a petrol pump, owned by Ram Lal Jat’s family at Shambhupura village.
“It cost to the government exchequer `35 crore to build eight km additional road due to Joshi’s pressure,” said VP Singh, MP, Rajya Sabha.
Moreover, BJP has condemned the poor administration “fielded” by Joshi in Bhilwara, which “worked for his two colleagues only”.
BJP legislator VS Awasthi and workers called then collector Onkar Singh as “District CP Congress president”.
Bhilwara parliament constituency is dominated by Brahmin community voters with 3.5 lakh votes.
There are 6.2 lakh SC/ST, 2.5 lakh Gujjar and 2 lakh Jat voters in the constituency. However, a candidate with a good will and clean image always has a chance to overcome the caste bias.