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Congress will have tough job picking candidate for Kota-Bundi LS seat

The Congress high command, sources said, is not in favour of giving Lok Sabha tickets to MLAs because the party does not have a comfortable majority in the Rajasthan assembly. The Congress formed government after it won 99 seats and its ally, Rashtriya Lok Dal, got one in the assembly polls.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Jan 15, 2019 16:17 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times, Kota
Many names were mentioned for Congress candidate from Kota-Bundi LS constituency during the party’s preparatory meeting on Sunday, presided over by Kota district in-charge Pratap Singh Khachariyavas.
Many names were mentioned for Congress candidate from Kota-Bundi LS constituency during the party’s preparatory meeting on Sunday, presided over by Kota district in-charge Pratap Singh Khachariyavas.(HT Photo)
         

The selection of a candidate for the Kota-Bundi parliamentary constituency is not going to be an easy job for the Congress after former party MP Ijyaraj Singh joined the BJP and potential candidates were elected as MLAS in the recently held Rajasthan assembly polls, party leaders said.

Ijyaraj Singh, a scion of the former Kota royal family, joined the BJP before the December 7 assembly polls after the Congress denied ticket to his wife Kalpana Devi. She later got a BJP ticket and was elected as an MLA from the Ladpura seat in Kota. Congress sources said Ijyaraj was among the front runners for a party ticket in this year’s Lok Sabha polls because of his clean image and association with the former royal family.

The other potential Lok Sabha poll candidates of the Congress who were elected MLAs include urban development and housing minister Shanti Dhariwal (Kota North), former minister Bharat Singh (Sangod), and former deputy speaker Ramnarayan Meena (Pipalda).

The Congress high command, sources said, is not in favour of giving Lok Sabha tickets to MLAs because the party does not have a comfortable majority in the Rajasthan assembly. The Congress formed government after it won 99 seats and its ally, Rashtriya Lok Dal, got one in the assembly polls.

Bharat Singh said, “The hunt for a suitable candidate for the Kota-Bundi Lok Sabha constituency is on.”

Kota district Congress president Ravindra Tyagi said, “The panel of candidates has not been finalised yet. I have not received any candidature so far.”

The Congress and the BJP have each won 7 times in the Kota-Bundi seat out of the 16 polls held so far. The Congress could win only twice in the last two decades. In the 2014 general election, BJP’S Om Birla won from the seat.

Many names were raised during the Congress’ preparatory meeting on Sunday, presided over by Kota district in-charge minister Pratap Singh Khachariyavas. They included Ramnarayan Meena and former Kota city district president Govind Sharma, among some others. Ramnarayan being an MLA is almost out of race.

Many Congress leaders said at the meeting that party men would stand by a candidate chosen by Shanti Dhariwal and Bharat Singh. Many insisted that no parachute candidate be fielded.

The Congress, sources said, is planning to pick a Meena candidate as the Kota-Bundi parliamentary constituency, though not reserved, has over 2.50 lakh voters from the community. Ramnarayan Meena had won from the seat once. With his election as an MLA, other Meena leaders, including former Bundi zila pramukh Mahaveer Meena, are on the Congress radar.

For the BJP, candidate selection may not be a tough job. Its sitting MP Om Birla and Ijyaraj Singh are strong candidates.

First Published: Jan 15, 2019 16:14 IST

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