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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Independent candidates add colour to poll season

Keeping in view the future opportunities, Prema Ram, 36, another independent candidate, is contesting the polls from Nagaur seat.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: May 06, 2019 12:26 IST
Nikita Bishnoi
Nikita Bishnoi
Hindustan Times, JAIPUR
Bishna Ram, 41, a farmer by profession who has no land of his own, is contesting the polls from Churu seat with the belief that contesting in the elections will increase his popularity in the area.
Bishna Ram, 41, a farmer by profession who has no land of his own, is contesting the polls from Churu seat with the belief that contesting in the elections will increase his popularity in the area. (HT Photo)
         

With no prior political experience or party backing, several independent candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections have little hope to win the election, but they add to the poll season with their own reasons to contest the polls.

Bishna Ram, 41, a farmer by profession who has no land of his own, is contesting the polls from Churu seat with the belief that contesting in the elections will increase his popularity in the area. “Since I am going places for campaigning, people living far away will also know me. All I want is that the people should know me,” he said.

Ram had contested the 2018 state assembly elections and got 8,000 votes. He said that he was confident of getting 25,000 votes on May 6 polling. “It is my interest to contest polls. I even tried to get ticket from three parties, but did not get any,” he added.

Another candidate Pankaj, 29, contesting from Jaipur has a “secret” plan to give employment to everybody in the Jaipur constituency.

“I have an NGO of my own and several other friends are also part of it. Together, we devised a secret plan to give employment to everybody in the Jaipur constituency. I am contesting the elections to make my plan a reality,” he said.

Two of Pankaj’s brothers have been unemployed for a long time, which prompted him to make the employment plan for the residents of Jaipur constituency and contest elections in order to execute the plan in an “uninterrupted” fashion.

“Road, water, electricity are all the local issues taken up in the local body elections as well as state elections. However, in the Lok Sabha elections bigger issues are taken into consideration and the biggest issue in the country presently is ‘unemployment’. Evading unemployment is my first target,” Pankaj said.

He has a master’s degree in commerce from the University of Rajasthan and said that his “mission” to provide employment to the youth will continue even if he does not win the elections.

Keeping in view the future opportunities, Prema Ram, 36, another independent candidate, is contesting the polls from Nagaur seat. A farmer by profession, Ram claims to cover nearly 30 villages daily during the campaign. “I might not win a big election like that of Lok Sabha, however, my popularity will help me tremendously in winning the smaller election like that of local bodies and gram panchayat,” he said. Prema Ram, father of two, has been carrying out meetings at panchayat headquarters of each village. However, he said, due to the lack of funds, some small villages might be left out in the campaigning process.

“I might get third position in these elections after BJP and Congress candidates. I anyways do not aspire to win these elections. But this is a mindset of the villagers in my area that when they keep interacting with a person and know him/her, they vote for him in the small elections if not the bigger ones. Now, that the villagers know me and understand that I am good enough person to represent them, they will vote for me when I contest local elections in the future,” he said.

Even as the independent women candidates contesting the elections are less in number, highlighting the issues which are often swept under the carpet are on their minds. Shobhal Singh, 39, contesting from Jaipur constituency, said that raising issues of the underprivileged people is more important than winning or losing the elections. “We as a society are neglecting a large part of our own society, which is underprivileged. These elections I want to highlight their issues,” said Singh.

An alumnus of Delhi University, Singh has a team of nearly 15 people.

There are some who are contesting the polls by getting impressed by the prominent political figures. Madan Lal, 46, contesting the election from Alwar constituency, has been impressed by Prime Minister Modi’s oratorship skill.

Owning a small business of providing spare parts for industrial machines, Lal did not apply for the BJP ticket.

“Though I am thoroughly impressed by Modiji’s personality which made me contest the elections and replicate him, I am still a very small man. Let alone knowing me, people in the BJP office might not even allow me in. I am therefore contesting the elections as an independent candidate,” said Lal.

First Published: May 06, 2019 09:53 IST