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Whatever happened to all those odd balls?

They are not the usual politician, they had all stood out for the novelty of their electioneering styles.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2003 03:36 IST

Over the past few weeks, these columns had featured some ‘odd ball’ politicians on their campaign trails. Not the usual office seekers, they had all stood out for the novelty of their electioneering styles. This is how their methods worked — or did not work — with the voters:

Usha Thakur

Usha Thakur, the first woman MLA from Indore district, had become the cynosure of all eyes during electioneering because of the kataar (dagger) she had been wearing for the past 17 years.

Usha had said that the dagger, which was for self-protection, had been presented to her by the family of the freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in 1986.

In her campaigning, Thakur had called upon women to always keep a kataar with them for self-protection as the police and other officials could not protect them.

After her win, Thakur said she would keep the kataar with her even if she were to become a minister.

Ajay Kumar Jain ‘Patwa’

HE HAD appealed to voters not to vote for him. His campaign slogan was “Mujhe bhari maton se haraiye (Defeat me with a thumping margin)”. And indeed the voters heard his plea.
Ajay Kumar, who contested from the Indore Assembly Constituency No. 1, may have lost but he still walks with his head held high. In a constituency of 1.99 lakh voters, he got 340 votes. The election was won by Usha Thakur (BJP). Patwa said confidently, “I will contest the Lok Sabha elections next time.”

Gopal Jeenagar

Independent candidate Gopal Jeenagar's magic failed him at the polls. A magician by profession, he had demanded a ticket from the Congress. On being denied, he decided to contest from the Sursagar constituency in Jodhpur.
Jeenagar, who got 1,350 votes, came second-last in Sursagar. But there is still some magic left in him. “People do not want me to contest as an MLA. They want to see me win the MP election next year which I will do," he said.

Malkhan Singh

Dacoit-turned-politician Malkhan Singh won't get a chance to twirl his handlebar moustache in the state assembly. A terror in the Chambal region in the 1980s, he was contesting as a Rashtriya Samanta Dal candidate from the Karera constituency in Morena.

Malkhan’s claim of possessing an absolutely clean track record wasn’t enough to win him enough votes. The former dacoit came in fourth, far behind the victorious BSP candidate.

(Inputs from Arun Mondhe/Ramesh Shankar, Indore and HTC, Jaipur)

First Published: Dec 05, 2003 01:54 IST