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Sitting MLAs are facing resentment from party workers and it would be difficult for Congress to pacify the grassroots workers.

india Updated: Oct 16, 2003 20:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

The scenario in Hanumangarh has changed since the last assembly elections when Congress, introducing new faces, had the lion’s share in the pie with four out of five seats in its pocket. BJP had to content with lone seat of Hanumangarh where Rampratap defeated Atmaram Chaudhary of Congress with a margin of 3,356 votes.

On this occasion, sitting MLAs are facing resentment from party workers and it would be difficult for Congress to pacify the grassroots workers. To add to the cup of woes of Congress, public agitation led by BJP in the last five years have gained acceptance from all quarters. And BJP is hopeful to pull victory on this occasion.

Though most of the area in the district is irrigated land, still there are few areas viz Rawatsar, Pallu, Nohar and Bhadra, which have been repeatedly neglected by the power that be. Hence, opposition, on this occasion BJP does not fall short on issues. This time also, irrigation water would be the prime issue in the assembly elections.

In the last elections, despite the Congress wave in the region, Congress had to face stiff resistance from BJP candidates in few seats. The new faces, Harchand Siddhu from Pilibanga, Sanjeev Beniwal from Bhadra, Aadram Meghwal from Tibbi and Sumitra Arya from Nohar bagged seats for the party while Sangaria seat saw a intense battle between former minister KC Bishnoi and independent candidate Gurjunt Singh in which former edged past the latter with a slender margin of 79 votes. Congress had to bite the dust in Hanumangarh where BJP’s Rampratap humbled former MLA Atmaram to stem the rampant Congress.

Since Hanumangarh adjoins Haryana, the influence of Indian National Lok Dal and Rashtriya Lok Dal cannot be ignored. Chief minister of Haryana Om Prakash Chautala plans to field candidates in Sangria, Hanumangarh, Pilibanga, Nohar and Bhadra constituencies.

From Pilibanga, former municipal council chairman Subhash Punia has been finalised by INLD. BSP has also announced to put up its candidates on all the seats while CPI (M) plans to contest from Sangria and Hanumangarh constituencies. The Social Justice Front (SJF) too could make its force felt as Devi Singh Bhati enjoys good support base here.

From Hanumangarh, sitting MLA Dr Rampratap has again emerged as a strong contender this time. In all probability he would have to contest against Vinod Choudhary who is relative of Balram Jhakar. Though State Congress general secretary Surendra Dadri and Rajendra Godara too have claimed for Congress tickets.

Ticket of Dr Suresh Choudhary who was the Congress candidate from Bhadra constituency in 1993, was cancelled at the last moment during 1998, whereas Gyan Singh Choudhary who became the minister by extending his support to Bhairon Singh Shekhawat at the time of crisis has been denied ticket by the Congress, even as he joined the Congress.

Gyan Singh Choudhary this time is trying to seek ticket from Bahujan Samaj Party. For BJP, Lal Chand Dudi is the favoutite but retired district judge and Dudi’s brother PP Singh is also among the hopefuls.

Harsh comment by Lokayukt Milap Chand Jain against Congress MLA Harchand Singh Siddhu from Pilibanga has proved to be a boon for BJP. Lokayukt wrote a letter to the State assembly speaker to take action against Siddhu for beating up a youth in police custody. In reaction to that, Siddhu raised a new controversy by alleging Justice Jain for misusing his post. Former MLA Jeevraj Singh Rathore and Monica Jangu, who contested last election as independent candidates are in the ticket race with Siddhu.

Apart from that, Ramswaroop Manjhu and Sangria’s former MLA Mahendra Singh Barad too have demanded ticket. It looks like there would be an intense battle for ticket in this constituency.

Ganganagar Zila Pramukh Sarita Bishnoi has become a subject of concern for BJP’s Rampratap Kasnia, now Pradesh Congress member Gangajal Meel by joining BJP has claimed BJP ticket from Pilibanga. Meel has full hopes that he would get ticket from Rajasthan Jat Mahasabha quota. On the situation of Meel becoming the BJP candidate, people will not be surprised if Kasnia along with his traditional vote bank start helping the Congress. Sarita Bishnoi recently has joined BJP. Although he has started the campaign in the villages of this area, but political people are not taking her claimant that seriously.

In Nohar, sitting MLA Suchitra Arya is facing resentment from party workers. Youth Congress district president Sohan Dhillon and Pradesh Congress secretary Pratap Singh Choudhary too are in the fray.

In Tibbi, sitting MLA Aadram Meghwal is stuck in a triangular contest for ticket as former law minister Shashi Dutta and Former MP Shankar Pannu are also in the fray. From BJP, Dharmendra Mochi, who lost the election last time, is vying for the ticket with former Zila Pramukh Dungar Ram Panwar and former MP Birbal Ram also demanding to contest.

Though Motor Garage minister KC Bishnoi has a clean image in his constituency Sangria, but the crowd that turned up during BJP’s Parivartan Yatra must have created worry for him. He is facing threat from Param Navdeep Singh, who has wide support in the region.

First Published: Oct 16, 2003 19:55 IST