Candidates prime focus in eastern Rajasthan

A multi-cornered contest in Dausa Lok Sabha constituency and a direct clash between the sitting Congress MP with the BJP candidate are the focus of elections in the eastern part of the state even as campaigning for the five seats ended on Tuesday evening.

Elections to the tribal dominated segment get more interesting given the fact that here the candidates matter to electorate than the political parties as the battle is fought on cold caste formulation. Dominating are the ‘Meenas’, who political observers believe have influence on 30 Assembly seats, and the ‘Gujjars’.

Interestingly, Dausa is said to be the unofficial capital of Meenas with Kirorli Lal Meena being the undisputed leader of the tribal community which has enjoyed fruits of reservation, evident in many of them clearing to enter the civil services.

This seat is witnessing an all Meena war. Apart from Kirori Lal Meena, contesting again from National People’s Party (NPP), two brothers – junior Union finance minister Namo Narayan Meena and his retired DGP brother Harish Meena from Bharatiya Janata Party – are also in the fray, tilting the balance in favour of voters belonging to other ‘general category’ castes.

Kirori Lal Meena, whose clout took a beating in the just held Assembly polls as he could barely manage to win Lalsot seat by a margin of 491 votes, does not agree with this proposition.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kirori Lal exhibits confidence of wining the seat again. “Last time in 2009 also the BJP had put former DGP Laxman Meena and the Congress had fielded its candidate from the same caste, but they lost badly. Same result will be this time,” he said. 

Top BJP leaders agree that they are finding it tough and Modi impact is not as predominant as they claim is visible elsewhere in the state. A relative of Harish, however, believes that people would vote for the BJP candidate because of Modi wave.

The brothers did not want to contest against each other but were caught in party politics.  Namo Narayan had won the last polls from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur seat but shifted to Dausa as he was not confident while Harish is a first timer. 

Sitting Congress MP from Alwar Jitendra Singh is attempting to protect his family pocket borough from BJP’s Mahant Chandnath who had failed to make it to the Lok Sabha in 2004.

Former Indian cricket skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, who had moved from western UP segment of Moradabad for a safe seat of Tonk-Sawai Madhopur is also sweating out in a triangular contest, with BJP fielding “outsider” Sukhbir Singh Jaunpuria, and NPP giving ticket to  Kirori Lal’s brother Jagmohan Meena.

In Karauli-Dholpur Lok Sabha seat, Congress had done better in Assembly polls winning five out of the eight.

Congress nominee Lakhiram Bairwa is in direct fight with Bharatiya Janata Party’s Manoj Rajoria.

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