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Most Rajasthan MLAs likely to be renominated

As in Madhya Pradesh, the party is likely to drop only about two dozen MLAs in Rajasthan. The party is also likely to field nearly twice the number of women candidates.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2003 14:14 IST

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appears to have resisted considerable pressure from party veterans of the state to change nearly one-third of the sitting MLAs.

Senior leaders want over 50 of the 157 MLAs to be axed to dilute the anti-incumbency factor.

Gehlot is reportedly concerned that large-scale changes could encourage sabotage. To ensure the cooperation of senior state leaders, the party could field relatives of legislators who are dropped.

Senior leader Nawal Kishore Sharma said he would not contest the forthcoming polls. The ticket might go to his son. Similarly, Parasram Maderna too is believed to be opting out.

The screening committee headed by Manmohan Singh has already met for two days. The committee would have to keep the sensitivities of other stalwarts like Natwar Singh and Ram Nivas Mirdhra in mind while vetting the list. As part of this consensus-building process, AICC general secretary Ambika Soni organised a dinner meeting of the screening panel and some senior party leaders on Tuesday.

As in Madhya Pradesh, the party is likely to drop only about two dozen MLAs in Rajasthan. The party is also likely to field nearly twice the number of women candidates. About 30 women nominees are expected to be in the fray this time.

The panel, which has cleared over 120 names, essentially dealt with “single name” constituencies. Nearly 80 of these were sitting MLAs. The real problem is with the remaining seats, where there is more than one name.

Although some Jat leaders in the Congress are pressing for more tickets for their community, the party will have to walk the tight rope in ensuring that this doesn't upset the caste balance. The Jats hold the key in a little over two dozen constituencies.

With the AICC virtually managing the elections in the state, Gehlot may not face the kind of dissidence that he otherwise might have.

First Published: Nov 05, 2003 14:14 IST