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BJP does a balancing act in first list of 93 names

In BJP'S first list of 93 candidates for R'sthan assembly, the party has attempted to strike a balance between stalwarts, the caste factor and relatives of senior leaders.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2003 12:52 IST

The BJP'S first list of 93 candidates for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly was announced on Wednesday. The party attempted to strike a balance between stalwarts, the caste factor, and relatives of senior leaders, but it still could not erase the impression that the party remained a divided house.

In the list is the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Vasundhara Raje. She is the party's nominee from Jhalrapatan constituency, which is part of her Lok Sabha constituency of Jhalawar.

Leader of the Opposition Gulabchand Kataria has been fielded from Udaipur City. The party had to waive off its rule of not changing the constituencies of sitting MLAs in his case. He represents Mewar in the outgoing House.

Similarly, senior party leader Ghanshyam Tiwari was allowed to shift from Chomu to Sanganer. But Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's son-in-law, Narpat Singh Rajvi, could not succeed in getting his seat changed from Chittorgarh to Amer. The Amer seat has been given to Navin Pilania, son of Rajasthan Jat Mahasangh chief Gyan Prakash.

There was tension at the BJP headquarters on 11, Ashok Road before the list was announced. Supporters of MLA Amar Chand Midha raised slogans against the party and Raje after he was denied a ticket.

His Suratgarh seat was given to a rookie, Ashok Nagpal. Raje said the party decided to field a fresh face to avoid the anti-incumbency mood against the legislator, who had represented the constituency several times.

Earlier, Raje met Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani to "fine tune" the first list after the party's central panel vetted it on Tuesday night. BJP sources said the selection process had become tedious because of intense lobbying.

Raje was confident of the BJP's chances at the polls. She said lack of development would be the main plank. "We have done a lot in the last few months. I only wish I had more time for even a greater turnaround. I can tell you that the mood is for change. We have got the people's support. I won't let you down."

She did not rule out the possibility of tie-ups with 'friendly' parties like the Janata Dal (United).

The list has 11 women candidates, 18 Scheduled Castes and 14 Scheduled Tribes.

First Published: Nov 06, 2003 12:52 IST