Cong ex-MPs throw hat in ring, seek assembly ticketUpdated: Jul 27, 2018 22:16 IST
Several former Members of Parliament of Congress in Rajasthan — most of them in political wilderness after the rout the party suffered in 2014 Lok Sabha elections — now want to revive their career by contesting the state assembly elections slated later this year.
While most of them claim they have “better chances of winning” than any new face, some also accept that they can land in the Rajasthan assembly as this time the Congress has “bright chances of winning the state polls” riding on anti-incumbency wave.
A senior Congress leader said at least 10 former MPs are planning to throw their hat in the electoral ring. Some of these MPs are believed to have conveyed their wish either to the state or to the central leadership.
The leader claimed that the former MPs eyeing the assembly tickets are Lal Chand Kataria from Jhotwara, CP Joshi (Nathdwara), Mahesh Joshi (Hawa Mahal or Kishanpole), Girija Vyas (Udaipur city), Ashq Ali Tak (Fatehpur), Harish Choudhary (Baytu), Gopal Singh (Jaitaran), Raghuveer Meena (Udaipur rural), Badri Jhakar (Luni or Lohawat), Shankar Pannu (Ganganagar), Mahadev Singh (Khandela), Khiladi Bairwa (Baseri) and Namo Narayan Meena from Devli Uniyara.
Of these CP Joshi, Girija Vyas, Mahadev Singh, Namo Narayan and Lal Chand Katariya were union ministers in UPA government. While Vyas refused to comment, Joshi did not take calls.
A former- MP, requesting anonymity, said it was more important to bring party to power in state. “I believe that I have better chances of winning than other aspiring candidates. After assembly polls, if the party leadership, directs I can contest the general elections too.”
Another former MP, also requesting not be named, said, “I have represented a parliamentary constituency, which is bigger than an assembly constituency. I have better chances of winning, and I will only strengthen the party in the House. Besides, there are bright chances of forming government here.”
“We need to stay with the party in this tough time. Our candidature on assembly seat would only help the Congress,” said a former Rajya Sabha MP. Who does not want to be part of a government, he said, adding almost all former MPs are trying to get assembly ticket.
Sources said many of these former MPs have already started ground work activating the supporters in their respective areas.
Incidentally, senior leader had earlier said that party was likely to announce candidates for around half of the seats where it lost in the past three assembly elections, much before the regular list of candidates. “The party will be fielding new faces, including those with no political background, on seats where party has lost thrice in a row. The attempt is part of election strategy to provide enough time to the candidates to prepare and for workers at booth level to reach out to the electorate,” a senior leader had said.
First Published: Jul 27, 2018 22:16 IST