Rajasthan Congress meeting on panels for probable Lok Sabha candidates marred by factionalism, unruly scenes
The executive meeting of all district Congress committees was held, which was attended by in-charge ministers, to prepare panels for all 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan.Updated: Jan 14, 2019 10:42 IST
The district Congress committees’ meet called on Sunday to start preparing panels of probable candidates for Lok Sabha polls witnessed a large number of claimants, factionalism and unruly scenes in some districts.
The executive meeting of all district Congress committees was held, which was attended by in-charge ministers, to prepare panels for all 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan.
Unruly scene was witnessed in districts, such as Ajmer and Nagaur.
In Ajmer, factionalism was visible when supporters of chief minister Ashok Gehlot and deputy CM Sachin Pilot raised slogans for their leaders.
Sources claimed that a party man was asked to move out, which was objected to by some people present in the meeting. The local leaders of the two factions levelled allegations on each other in front of district in-charge minister Pramod Jain. One faction argued that the decision on candidates be left to the high command and Pilot; the other demanded that tickets should not be given to those who have earlier contested elections or denied ticket.
Jain said a party man was asked to leave as the meeting was called for district officer-bearers and front organisations. “The incident was nothing serious and the man was asked to move out after making him understand the situation.”
In Nagaur, a similar situation was witnessed in front of district in-charge minister Sukhram Vishnoi. At the meeting, NSUI leaders raised questions on party leaders supporting ABVP candidates who joined the Congress and participated in inauguration of student union office.
Sources claimed leaders vying for tickets include former MP Jyoti Mirdha and senior leaders Harinder Mirdha and Sukhram Solanki.
In Jaipur, the probable candidates include Archana Sharma, MLA Mahesh Joshi, Sunil Sharma and former mayor Jyoti Khandelwal.
In Bharatpur, around 30 candidates applied for tickets. They include an ex-MP, MLAs, former party LS candidate, academicians and some new faces.
District in-charge minister Ashok Chandna received 30 applications from aspirants seeking tickets. The aspirants include former MP Ratan Singh, former MP candidate Dr Suresh Yadav, Mahendra Jatav, former Congress MLA Nirbhay Jatav, Gopal Pahadia, Professor Arvind Verma, Motilal Kharera, Babli Prem Singh, and Kanheya Lal Dhovi.
In 2008, the Bharatpur Lok Sabha seat was reserved for schedule castes. Ratan Singh of the Congress won the seat in 2009 and BJP’s Bahadur Koli in 2014.
Member of erstwhile a royal family ,Vishvendra Singh, who is at present the tourism minister, was elected from 1999 to 2009. He has been three times MP from Bharatpur and his wife Divya Singh has been elected in 1996 as a BJP candidate.
Since 1952, the seat has been with the family – Vishwendra’s cousin sister Krishnendra Kaur Deepa was elected in 1991 on a BJP ticket. His father Brijendra Singh had been elected an MP as an independent in 1967 and his uncle Girraj Saran Singh in 1952.
In Barmer, supporters of state revenue minister Harish Choudhary and former BJP MP Manvendra Singh, son of former union minister Jaswant Singh, pressed for candidature for their leaders. Another aspirant is Prabha Choudhary, former student union president of Rajasthan University.
Choudhary and Singh were not present in the meeting headed by in-charge minister BD Kalla.
The revenue minister had told supporters and newspersons he was ready to contest LS poll and discharge responsibilities given by the party.
Singh, who had joined the Congress ahead of assembly elections, had announced that he was interested to contest parliament elections but the party fielded him against ex-CM Vasundhara Raje, which he lost.
“AICC president Rahul Gandhi had announced giving priority to youth and women; considering this, I have staked claim for the ticket,” said Prabha Choudhary.
In Kota, sitting MLA Ramnarayan Meena’s supporters voiced his name for the ticket. Many present in the meeting wanted the high command to decide on the candidate after considering opinions of UDH minister Shanti Dhariwal and senior MLA Bharat Singh.
First Published: Jan 14, 2019 10:41 IST