Rajasthan faces a summer of discontent | india | Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan faces a summer of discontent

Local BJP and Congress leaders are unhappy with their party's decisions to field candidates from outside Rajasthan, ignoring the claims of local leaders.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2004 12:27 IST
KS Tomar

Local BJP and Congress leaders are unhappy with their party's decisions to field candidates from outside Rajasthan, ignoring the claims of local leaders. The two parties have fielded non-Rajasthani candidates for four important seats — Bikaner, Jalore, Churu and Alwar.

The BJP has given tickets to cine star Dharmendra (Bikaner), former BJP president Bangaru Laxman's wife Sushila Laxman (Jalore) and Mahant Chand Nath (Alwar), while the Congress is repeating Balram Jakhar and Buta Singh (Jalore). Jakhar has been shifted from Sikar to Churu.

Both Congress leaders had shifted to Rajasthan during the days of terrorism in Punjab. Local Congress leaders told HT that they had not taken the party's decision kindly but were not in a position to react effectively.

The BJP leadership had refrained from allotting a ticket to Tehelka-tainted Bangaru Laxman because they were fearful of sending a wrong signal to the electorate. But the leadership succumbed to pressure from Laxman, a prominent Dalit leader. BJP leaders from Jalore are upset over the allotment of a ticket to Sushila Laxman, but they also are not ready to openly criticise the leadership.

The situation is identical in Bikaner where Dharmendra is the party nominee. Devi Singh Bhati, who spearheaded the upper caste movement for job reservations, was expected to return to the BJP and was tipped to contest from this seat. Now since he is reportedly hobnobbing with the Congress, local aspirants have been left high and dry and may ultimately fall in line and support Dharmendra, according to senior BJP leaders.

In Alwar, party workers are infuriated over the candidature of Mahant Chand Nath.

The claims of former DGP Phool Singh and Maj. Gen. Ugrasen Yadav (retd) have been ignored. Yadav said that Mahant Nath might belong to Haryana, but he was ready to abide by the decision of the party leadership.