RSS lobby has its way, gets to pick new Jaipur Mayor

In an apparent display of power play, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed councillor Nirmal Nahata has been appointed as the new Mayor of Jaipur city. The decision was taken after long and rigorous discussions with the RSS lobby and other senior leaders in the party.

With Vasundhara Raje-led state government completing one year,  the RSS has been calling the shots and influencing several important decisions and appointments made by the Rajasthan government.

Nahata is reportedly the personal choice of the RSS-supported legislators from Jaipur city. Nahata scored over Ashok Lahoty, who has been president of the Vidhyarthi Parishad and was the top contender for the Mayor post.

Earlier, Ashok Lahoty demanded the BJP ticket for the Assembly elections. But the party preferred Arun Chaturvedi who has strong ties with the RSS. Lahoty turned rebel but was appeased by Vasundhara Raje who promised him an important post if the party comes to power.

During the local body elections, the BJP fielded Lahoty and being a prominent leader he was assumed to become the next Mayor of Jaipur city. Lahoty was the most well known face among all the leaders who were given ticket in Jaipur municipal elections.

Sources said the RSS-linked legislators including Education Minister Kali Charan Saraf, Mohan Lal Gupta and Social Justices and Empowerment Minister Arun Chaturvedi were against Lahoty’s appointment as Mayor. 

And, the state BJP president Ashok Parnami and Urban Development and Housing Minister Rajpal Shekhawat, the old RSS guard, favoured Nahata.

RSS influence
This is not the first time when an RSS-backed leader has been offered a plum post in the BJP government.

The exit of Rajasthan University Vice Chancellor Dev Swaroop is also being linked to active involvement of the RSS-backed legislators in the university syndicate.

The RSS lobby in higher education is reportedly active to ensure that academicians having affinity with them are rewarded.

Cabinet ministers like Gulab Chand Kataria, Rajpal Shekhawat and Arun Chaturvedi are seen as RSS-supported MLAs in the Raje cabinet. Due to the support of RSS, Chaturvedi was recently elevated to rank of cabinet minister.

In another important decision, all legislators have been asked utilise their up to Rs 10 lakh of their local area development fund for the development of educational institutions like Vidya Mandirs and Adarsh Vidya Mandirs. These institutions are being run by RSS wings.

The appointment of state in-charge in Rajasthan and chairman of Rajasthan Education Board is also seen in the same spirit.

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