Royals-celebrities add colours to battle-of-ballots in Rajasthan
Celebrities and candidates with the royal blue blood-line still remained favourite choice of the political parties for allotment of tickets in the Lok Sabha elections in Rajasthan.
The ruling BJP and its arch rival Congress are so sure of the victory of scions of royal families that they wasted no time in deciding on the ticket to four of their sitting MPs with royal connection.
Among them, Union Ministers Chandresh Kumari Katoch and Jitendra Singh and sitting Lok Sabha MP Ijyaraj Singh have been renominated by the Congress from Jodhpur, Alwar and Kota--their family bastions.
Likewise, BJP that had fielded members of many royal families in the state assembly polls in December last, showed no dilemma in renominating state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's MP son Dushyant Singh for contesting Jhalawar seat in the impending polls.
The Minister of Culture Ms Katoch--the former queen of Kangra and princess of Jodhpur-, fights the battle of ballots from her birth place to seek a third term for the Lower House.
While she had won 2009 general election on Jodhpur, --the long time HP MLA-Minister and Ex-Rajya Sabha MP-, had made her maiden entry to the Lok Sabha from Kangra her marital home. In the impending election she is facing a challenge from BJP new face Gajendra Singh amid much hyped Modi factor.
Likewise, scion of Alwar royal family MoS Defence Jitendra Singh and fellow MP and scion of Kota royal house Ijyaraj Singh are making a bid to defend their respective 'home-forts' for a second term in a row.
The Alwar MP who is one of the key members in the Congress' emerging face Rahul Gandhi's young brigade, in the ensuing contest back home is facing a sadhu turned politician and a former BJP MLA Mahant Chand Nath Yogi.
In Kota Ijyaraj Singh is pitted against fire-brand BJP legislator and Chief Minister Ms Raje's confidant Om Birla.
Dushyant Singh seeking his third term in Jhalawar a seat that was held by his mother for five consecutive terms in the Lok Sabha.
A popular former Minister Pramod Jain Bhaya(Congress) is his challenger.
Besides royal members, some celebrities from different walks of life including sports, defence, ex-bureaucrats, doctors and engineers are also trying their luck at the hustings.
Among famous contestants, Team India former Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin is fielded by the Congress on the prestigious Tonk-Sawai Madhopur seat that is heading for a titanic triangular contest involving the former cricketer, Gujjar strong man former Haryana MLA Sukhbir Singh Jaunpuria(BJP) and Meena strong man Dr Kirodi Lal Meena's younger brother Jagmohan(NPP).
Jagmohan(57) has sought voluntary retirement from his state administrative service(RAS) to contest election.
Another distinguished sports personality and Olympic medal winner marksman Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is chosen by the BJP to face AICC General Secretary Dr C P Joshi and others in Jaipur Rural constituency.
Rathore had also quit his prestigious army career to join BJP and his maiden electoral battle.
Besides Rathore many other ex-army officers have also locked horns with rivals in the 'big-battle-of-ballots.
Among them Gen R S Kadiyan is in the fray in Jhunjhunu, one of the key constituencies in state, where the AAP nominee is to take on late Union Minister Sisram Ola's daughter-in-law Rajbala(Congress), sitting MLA Santosh Ahlawat(BJP) and sitting legislator and former Minister Rajkumar Sharma(IND).
Similarly in Barmer, BJP experienced MP/MLA Col(retd) Sonaram Chaudhary is pitted against expelled BJP veteran and former Defence Minister Jaswant Singh(IND) who also had quit his army post about five decades ago to join the politics.
Another AAP nominee in Sikar Major S K Punia is also an former army officer who is pitted in a complex clash involving among others, noted power engineer PS Jat(Cong) who had worked for long as CMD in various power companies (DISCOMs) in the state.
Besides the army major and the engineer, BJP rebel and former Union Minister Subhash Mahariya, Swami Sumedhanand (BJP) and 11 others are also there in fray on the seat. Noted asthma specialist and former Medical Superintendent of SMS Hospital, Jaipur, Dr Virendra Singh has also quit his coveted post to join politics and contest election on Jaipur seat on AAP ticket.
Congress former MP Shankar Pannu who won the party ticket for Bikaner through primary in-house polls, is an engineer by profession.
(Posted on 06-04-2014)