Third front to make its presence felt in Rajasthan

Kirorilal wants to be kingmaker

Third front is something that is unheard in Rajasthan. The politics in the state revolves around mainly around the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party, both taking turns in ruling state as of late.

However, this time around they have to deal with a third factor in Dr Kirorilal Meena, a former BJP leader and an independent Lok Sabha member from Dausa.

He says that neither chief minister Gehlot and nor BJPs Vasundhara Raje will make to the chief minister’s chair next time. He claims that he will be the kingmaker and the state will see someone other than Gehlot and Vasundhara for the top slot.

Those who take him lightly could do it at their peril.  The wily politician has already started campaign in the Mewar region dominated by his Scheduled Tribes caste that sends 30 legislators to the 200 seat state Assembly.

Like at poll time, Dr Kirori has hired a helicopter and is making sorties in the region more than a year in advance taking many politicians and observers by surprise.  

On day two of the campaign that he launched from Pratapgarh, Meena addressed public meetings at Chhoti Sadari and Balasar near Udaipur on Monday.

Public meetings

The tribal leader is scheduled to address at least one Assembly in all five districts of the region this week as part of the nearly 100 public meetings he plans to cover till January 2013 when he is supposed to announce the third political front.

The regions political significance can be gauged from the fact that last week the ruling party and the opposition locked horns over holding a public assembly at Mangarh Dham in Banswara to commemorate tribal rebellion against the British raj on the same day, which has high sentimental values for the local tribal people.

The southern districts are so dominated by tribal population that 19 Assembly seats here are reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Tribes (ST) category. Meena belongs to the same reserved category.

Both the main political parties claim that the Dausa MP was hardly in any position to damage their prospects in this region.

However, the parties are wary of the Dausa MPs political manoeuvrings that are widely believed to be responsible for the previous Vasundhara Raje-led government not making a comeback despite its seeming popularity during the 2008 Assembly elections.

Shortly before the elections, Meena, who was a cabinet minister then, had fallen out with
Raje and was expelled from the BJP.

About half a dozen independents supported by Meena came out victorious and they came to the help of the Congress which fallen short of an absolute majority in the last Assembly elections.

However, Meena fell  out with the Congress also later on.  This time, he says, he will be the kingmaker and is working hard to achieve his goal.

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