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Choosing politics over RAS, Jaisalmer's Anjana keeps poll promise

india Updated: Jul 18, 2015 11:07 IST
Rakesh Goswami
Anjana Meghwal

A tale of two sisters: Anjana Meghwal (L) gave up RAS to keep her position as Jaisalmer Zila Pramukh while Prem Dhande (R), also a politician, opted for the civil service.

Anjana Meghwal faced the interview for the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) two days after she was sworn in as the Zila Pramukh (head of district panchayat council) of Jaisalmer, but on Friday, when the results were announced and she started getting congratulatory calls, she decided to choose politics over bureaucracy – to keep a poll promise.

“When I was campaigning for the Panchayat elections, people knew that I had passed the written exam for Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) and thought I may not stay with them in politics, but I assured them that if they elect me, I will continue to serve them, irrespective of the RAS final result,” said 36-year-old Anjana Meghwal, talking to Hindustan Times on telephone from Jaisalmer.

She was sworn in as the Jaisalmer Zila Pramukh on February 7 and was before the interview panel at Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) in Ajmer on February 9.

But her younger sister, Prem Dhande, 31, is doing the opposite. A member of the Zila Parishad, she has decided to quit politics after she found her name in the list of successful candidates in the RAS 2012 exam. “I was always interested in civil service but this exam got embroiled in so many litigations that we were not sure if it will actually end in recruitment. Remember the vacancies were announced in February 2012 and results have been announced now,” she said.

RAS 2012 was both sisters’ third attempt. “I wrote it the first in 2003 and cleared the prelims and mains but couldn’t make it to the final list. In 2006, it took it for a lark. But after my husband passed away in 2011 in a road accident, I decided to pick the books again. My husband was a superintending engineer in municipal council and I could have got a government job in his place since he died during service but I wanted to be an officer like him,” she said.

When she began preparing for the administrative service exam again, her two sons, Mohit (17) and Ankit (15) were a constant help. Many a times, the three would study together.

But now when she got what she wanted, she has an election promise to keep.

Prem, on the other hand, wants to be in the government. Her husband is a paediatrician at the Pokaran community health centre (CHC).

Theirs is a family of engineers and doctors. Anjana’s the eldest of seven siblings – six sisters and a brother. Anjana is a postgraduate in Arts, the three sisters are doctors while the other two sisters and the brother has studied engineering. Prem did a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in human resources from ICFAI National College, Jodhpur.

Her father Rooparam Meghwal retired as the chief engineer of the Public Health and Engineering Department, Rajasthan, and contested the 2013 Assembly election as a Congress candidate from Jaisalmer.

Anjana’s elder son, Mohit, is taking forward the family tradition -- he is a first year student of B Tech at Arya College of Engineering in Jaipur.

Results of Rajasthan State and Subordinate Services combined Competitive Examination, 2012, conducted for recruitment into the Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS) and Rajasthan Police Service (RPS), among a host of other allied services, were declared on Friday evening.