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Caste boost for ?raja?!

I feel better travelling by jeep so that I can establish personal contact with the people, says Dushyant Singh.
PTI | By K.S. Tomar, Jhalawar
UPDATED ON APR 30, 2004 10:21 PM IST

Unlike his mother Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan chief minister and five-time MP from Jhalawar), Dushyant Singh does not use a helicopter for campaigning. "I feel better travelling by jeep so that I can establish personal contact with the people," he says.

Dushyant, the BJP’s candidate from here, is a  product of the Doon school and a St. Stephen's college graduate.

A cursory look at the possible behaviour of the various castes in the area shows that Dushyant is likely to be winner. He belongs to Dholpur's Jat family, his mother hails from a Rajput family and his wife is from a Gurjar family. This caste combination may help him get the support of these communities in the area. And the organisational set-up, which his mother created over the past several years, is also at his disposal.

On his campaign trail, he does not waste time at meetings and straightway starts his speech, which he usually keeps brief, because he wants to address all meetings scheduled for the day.

Talking about his election pitch, Dushyant says "drinking water is my number one priority. I am also determined to persuade the Centre, state, donors and NGOs to provide the funds to execute irrigation schemes for farmers."

Dushyant, so far, is way ahead of Congress nominee Sanjay Gurjar who is on the backfoot because he is a new face in the area. The fact that the Congress high command ignored local aspirants for the ticket might also work against him.

Gurjar told HT that the fight was between a raja and a "farmer". His campaign focusses on the increasing atrocities on women during the first four months of the present BJP regime.

The Congress nominee said that Jhalawar had been completely neglected during past 15 years despite its high-profile nominees.

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