Rajasthan MP beats Raje's son to get on Modi team

CM lobbies for her son but NaMo picks Nihal Chand

A Rajasthan MP  picked by Prime Minster Nardendra Modi for his council of ministers evoked mixed response in the state unit of BJP.

After the clean sweep in Rajasthan, the BJP leadership in the state was confident of two to three prominent MPs getting ministerial berths, but Narendra Modi surprised everyone by including Ganganagar MP Nihal Chand in his crew. The four-time MP Nihal Chand has never been among the top contenders for any post.

Differences in party

According to sources, the last-minute differences among senior leaders over the possible contenders from Rajasthan fetched him a plum post in the Modi cabinet.Highly placed sources in the BJP camp said Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been camping in New Delhi for the past several days and was lobbying for Jhalawad MP and her son Dushyant Singh. 

However, things did not work out for Raje as the top leadership reportedly rejected the claims of Dushyant Singh. 

Seniority basis

Sources said that after the deadlock over Dushyant, the top leadership consulted former state BJP chief Om Mathur, who recommended Nihal Chand on the basis of seniority. Mathur is one the leaders considered to be in the inner cotiere of Modi. 

A marathon meeting of Dushyant Singh with leaders like Sawarmal Jat, Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore and Arjun Meghwal has also become a hot topic of discussion in the state BJP camp. 

Sources said the meeting took place in New Delhi, where these leaders were convinced about the claims of Dushyant. The three leaders were the frontrunners to get a place in Modi’s team.

Reports said immediately after Nihal Chand’s name was finalised, Raje played strategically and told her MPs to wait for a cabinet expansion and not press for berths in the Modi cabinet at this juncture.  

She said that Modi has a new model of development and everyone should support him in his endeavor to develop the country. 

In the previous UPA government, more than half a dozen leaders from Rajasthan like C P Joshi, Sachin Pilot, Mahadev Khandela, Namo Narayan Meena, Lal Chand Kataria and Bhanwar Jeetendra Singh have held various portfolios in the centre. 

However, Modi rejecting all the caste equations has made it clear that he has his own scheme of things. 

The lone minister from Rajasthan in team Modi, Nihal Chand, got elected for the first time to the 11th Lok Sabha in 1996, 13th Lok Sabha in 1999 and in 14th Lok Sabha in 2004. 

Nihal Chand lost the Lok Sabha elections in 2009 to Congress candidate Bharatram Meghwal.  

Nihal Chand, 43, became an MP for the fourth time by defeating former Congress minister Bhanwar Lal Meghwal in Ganganagar seat in Rajasthan with a margin of 2,91,741 votes in the recently concluded general elections.

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