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Wives hit campaign trail

Even as top leaders of the Bhartiya Janta Party and Congress in Rajasthan are busy pacifying rebel candidates, their better halves have hit the campaign trail.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2003 17:05 IST

Even as top leaders of the Bhartiya Janta Party and Congress in Rajasthan are busy pacifying rebel candidates, their better halves have hit the campaign trail.

Election campaigning in Jodhpur gathered momentum on Sunday when Sheetal Kumari, wife of Union Finance Minister Jaswant Singh Jasol, and Sunita Gehlot, wife of Chief Minister Ashok Ghelot, began seeking votes in the high profile Sardarpura constituency of Jodhpur.

Sheetal Kumari's presence in the residential colonies of Sardarpura, from where Ashok Gehlot is contesting, gave a boost to the morale of BJP's Mahila Morcha activists. Accompanied by a good number of party workers, she campaigned for BJP candidate Mahendra Jhabak.

Sheetal Kumari who is connected to the Osian family, is respected by the Rajput community members here. "Jaswant ji is busy in other tasks and will campaign later. That is why Bai Saa is here to initiate the campaign," said a member of the BJP district committee.

The Chief Minister while addressing the party workers after filing his nomination papers had called upon them to launch an intensive campaign on his behalf. His wife Sunita Gehlot is doing just that. On Saturday, she took part in a mass marriage function of Ravan Rajput community at the Ravan Ka Chabutara and extracted an assurance from leaders of the community that they would vote for the chief minister.

Wife of former minister Mohan Meghwal, who has her roots in rural Rajasthan, has come out of her purdah for the first time to campaign for her husband. Her presence at the office of the returning officer on the day of filing nominations was notable and now she is campaigning in Pratap Nagar in Soorsagar constituency.

Jalam Singh Rawlot, a professor at the Jai Narayan Vyas University, Jodhpur, is the BJP candidate from Sheo constituency in Barmer. His wife is currently campaigning in the remote villages of the Thar. "My husband can convey his message to the men. But my presence among the village women has a better impact," she said while talking to the Hindustan Times.

In the next few days more wives are expected to jump into the campaign trail. There are also reports that Amitabh Bachchan, with wife Jaya, will campaign for Samajwadi Party in Osian.

First Published: Nov 17, 2003 17:05 IST