Raje goes from shrine to shrine

Raje goes from shrine to shrine

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Friday undertook a whirlwind tour of religious places of dominant communities of this constituency, a few days after rebel BJP leader Jaswant Singh, contesting as an Independent from here, visited these shrines.

Raje also met the family of local Jat leader Gangaram Choudhary, who died on Wednesday after a long illness. 

After landing here in the morning, she went straight to Chaudhary’s house where she spent nearly half an hour with the women of the family. She then dashed off to Chanchal Prag Mutt in the city where she met Mahant Shambhu Nath. People from Megwal community, a Scheduled Caste, are known to have faith in this mutt. 

It is believed that the mutt had extended support to Singh’s son Manvendra, who won the 2004 elections from this seat.

Raje later visited the Rani Bhatiyani temple in Jasol village, the birth place of Singh. In the later part of her trip, she visited Nakoda Parsva Jain Temple, Nagnechi Mata temple, which has Rathore Rajputs as devotees, and Bramha Temple in Asotara which has Rajpurohit community as followers.

Incidentally, when Singh came here on March 23, he visited all these temples. People here are of the view that Raje went to these temples to ensure support for the BJP candidate from all these communities which are known to favour Singh.

BJP has fielded Col (retd) Sona Ram Choudhary – three times Congress MP who recently changed sides – ignoring the plea of Singh to serve his ancestral place in what he said is his last election.

Sources in the BJP said Chaudhary was welcomed into the party and given a ticket despite overwhelming support extended by local leaders to Singh.

Local party leaders, not willing to come on record, said that at a meeting held on February 28, they were assured that the candidate from Barmer will be chosen by them. During the meeting, the party workers from Barmer had made it clear that they wanted Singh to contest from this seat.

The party leadership, however, overturned their decision and inducted Chaudhary after which Singh decided to contest as an Independent, they said.

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