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Exercise fraught with problems

The BJP managed to come out with the first list of 93 of its candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls on Wednesday, beating the Congress to it.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2003 15:23 IST

The BJP managed to come out with the first list of 93 of its candidates for the forthcoming Assembly polls on Wednesday, beating the Congress to it. But the exercise was fraught with problems. What is more, problems aggravated after the list was announced.

There were protests in BJP offices in Delhi and Jaipur as dissatisfied aspirants vented their ire.

In Jaipur, supporters of Babu Lal Bachcher created a stir on hearing that Sudha Jajoriya had been given the party ticket from Dudu.

Bachcher’s supporters threatened to work against the party if the decision is not reviewed. They claimed Jajoriya would forfeit her deposit, as she was an outsider for the constituency. Bachcher, who was denied ticket in 1998, had contested as an independent, securing more than 20,000 votes.

BJP workers from Malpura also went on the rampage. They were opposing the selection of Jeet Ram Chaudhary for the party ticket from their area.

“Jeet Ram is from Haryana. Why is the party thrusting an outsider upon us?” said Chhoga Lal Gurjar, member of the BJP Kisan Morcha.

Hundreds of workers claimed that Jeet Ram got the ticket only because he was the agent of a Union minister from the area. They said Kamal Chaudhary was the choice of the BJP workers and supporters. His supporters have threatened to hold a protest meeting in Jaipur on Friday.

The list is also likely to provoke a reaction from caste groups that constituted the BJP traditional vote bank. There are only about half a dozen Brahmins while Bania community has less than 10. Rajputs and Jats are equal at 11 each while the original OBCs have the maximum, around 20. The son of Jat Mahasabha patron Gyan Prakash Pilania, Naveen Pilania, figures in the list from Amer seat. Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat’s son-in-law Narpat Singh Rajvi’s attempts to get this seat did not fructify. New entrants such as Jagdeep Dhankhar, formerly of Jat Arakshan Manch, and former Congress MLA Vishnu Modi, did not figure in the first list.

The party will have to do some balancing in deciding the remaining candidates if it has to avoid adverse reaction from its vote base in a state where caste assertion is at an all time high.

The party’s central election committee appears to have faced several pulls and pressures from different groups in the party. A list decided the previous day created much furore in the party after it was carried in some newspapers.

On Wednesday, two changes were made in the list, listing Ghanshyam Tiwari for Sanganer and Gulab Chand Kataria for Udaipur, as per their wishes. A satisfied Tiwari, who was camping in Delhi, returned to Jaipur in the evening. Having decided to field state BJP president and party’s chief ministerial candidate Vasundhara Raje from Jhalrapatan within her Parliamentary constituency of Jhalawar, the party was yet to take a decision on some key constituencies. It was yet to find someone to contest against CM Ashok Gehlot.

(With inputs from Sandipan Sharma)

First Published: Nov 06, 2003 15:23 IST