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Rebel-wary Rajasthan Cong urges poll aspirants to suggest alternatives if denied tickets

The Congress has urged aspiring candidates not to turn rebels if they are denied assembly poll tickets, instead they suggest their choices to the leadership to bolster the party’s winning chances.

jaipur Updated: Jul 26, 2018 22:31 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Congress,REbel-wary
AICC general secretary has called upon workers to help the party form the next government, making it clear that all poll aspirants cannot be satisfied with tickets. (PTI File Photo)

The Congress has urged aspiring candidates not to turn rebels if they are denied assembly poll tickets, instead they suggest their choices to the leadership to bolster the party’s winning chances.

In the last assembly polls, rebels had cut into the party’s votes. The Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee had expelled over 150 members, including senior leaders, for anti-party activities after the 2013 assembly elections. Expulsions of many were later withdrawn.

Worried about the challenge the Congress could face in the run-up to the state polls due by the year-end, AICC general secretary Ashok Gehlot has called upon workers to help the party form the next government, making it clear that all aspirants cannot be satisfied with tickets.

During a recent one-day training workshop for party workers, the former chief minister shared his experience of the recent Gujarat assembly elections in which the Congress put up a close fight to the BJP.

“I have learnt in Gujarat that aspirants have been asked to give names of their choice of candidates, if they are denied tickets. It is a big thing, which I learnt there. This is not here (Rajasthan),” Gehlot said.

“We need to start this. You should honestly say who could be the choice, if not you…Right advice should be given to leaders. Our objective should be to form the party government. This should start from Rajasthan; then only we will be successful in Delhi.”

Recalling the past experience, Gehlot said, “I feel worried remembering 1993 assembly elections. Many of our members contested independently and won 21 seats; they later supported the BJP and helped it form government.”

He said the party would take care of those who do not get tickets. “This is there in Rahul Gandhi’s agenda, which I can assure,” Gehlot told party men.

Former union minister Bhanwar Jitendra Singh said, “No parachute candidate will be given ticket in elections; only those who are active and working in field will get tickets.”

A senior AICC leader said ticket will be given to party members after conducting a ground survey and getting feedbacks. “Our workers should be clear in their mind that the sole agenda is to defeat the BJP. Everyone cannot get ticket. Party president Rahul Gandhi has in mind to accommodate the second and third probable aspirants in government or organisation,” he said.

In 2013, around 25 candidates of the Congress had contested independently and cut into over five lakh party votes. If rebels had not contested and supported party candidates, the party would have put up a better performance at Nagaur, Asind, Pipalda and Masuda.

In Gangapur, Udaipur (rural), Taranagar, Begu, Tonk and Mandawa seats, the margin of loss between the Congress and winning candidates could have been reduced in the absence of party rebels.

In Mandwa, party candidate Dr Chandrabhan, the then state chief, got over 15,000 votes, and rebel Rita Choudhary secured over 40,000 votes. The seat was won by an independent candidate with 58,637 votes. At Bhadra, Nagaur, Mandawa and Pipalda, party rebels scored more votes than official candidates.

First Published: Jul 26, 2018 22:30 IST