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Turncoats, parachute candidates take centre stage in Rajasthan’s Kota region

Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018: Prior to the release of lists of candidates, issues such as problems of farmers, unemployment, drinking and irrigation water and development were part of political talks in the Kota region. But after the announcement of candidates by the parties, arrival of turncoats and parachute candidates has changed the scenario.

rajasthan elections Updated: Nov 27, 2018 15:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kota
Rajasthan Election 2018,Rajasthan Election 2018 News,Rajasthan Constituency
Manvendra Singh (right), former BJP MLA from Sheo, is contesting the December 7 assembly electin in Rajasthan on a Congress ticket. He is seen here with senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala, after he joined Congress party at AICC in New Delhi, on , October 17, 2018. (Vipin Kumar/HT File )

With turncoats and parachute candidates taking centre stage after the announcement of candidates by national parties in the Kota region, the political discourse has changed ahead of the December 7 Rajasthan assembly elections.

Prior to the release of lists of candidates, issues such as problems of farmers, unemployment, drinking and irrigation water and development were part of political talks in the region. But after the announcement of candidates by the parties, arrival of turncoats and parachute candidates has changed the scenario.

“The hype of fielding turncoats and parachute candidates has shifted the focus of poll discourse on candidates instead of problems of the people,” said Rajat Khanna, a senior journalist of Kota, adding that people were now talking about the winnability and personal traits of the candidates instead of the core issues.

“Political parties are trying to distract people from real issues and negate resentment against them by fielding candidates of tall political stature,” he said.

Khanna’s observation holds significance when we take a look on the candidates contesting on various seats in the region.

In Ladpura constituency, where the BJP has fielded former Congress leader Kalpana Raje, people are now talking about her winnability, caste affiliation and her being the wife of ex-Congress MP and scion of erstwhile Kota royal family, Ijyaraj Singh, instead of the local issues.

The Congress candidate from Ladpura, Gulnaz, is in limelight more for being the wife of former Congress candidate from Ladpura, Naimuddin Guddu, than her political activeness.

Similar is the case of former BJP legislator Manvendra Singh, who is contesting this election on the Congress ticket from Jhalrapatan against chief minister Vasundhara Raje. The contest is being seen as the battle of “Royal Titans”. Instead of the local issues such as development, agriculture, unemployment, people are talking about Singh and Rajput community anguish.

Situation in Pipalda and Ramganjmandi assembly constituencies is not different. In Pipalda, Congress has fielded Bundi native Ramnarayan Meena, an ex-MLA from Nainwa (Bundi) and Tonk, and also ex-MP from Kota, while BJP has fielded ex-Congress MLA from Bundi, Mamta Sharma. Similarly, in Ramganjmandi, BJP had fielded an outsider, former Baran-Atru MLA Madan Dilawar, against the local Congress candidate. Now, caste affiliations and stature of these leaders are in forefront of discussion, rather than the local issues.

Madan Madir, a veteran journalist of the region, said, “Focus of political parties on candidates is a kind of distraction from the issues and the sound of local issues seems to have been overtaken by the noise of candidate announcement, casteism, winnability and popularity of the parachute and turncoat candidates.”

Journalist Khanna said, “People should weigh turncoats and parachute candidates on the parameter of real issues before voting for them.”

For complete coverage of Rajasthan Assembly Election 2018, click here

First Published: Nov 27, 2018 15:00 IST