Leaders want seats for grandsons

Students participate in a competition on making political posters during an election awareness campaign, in Bikaner, on Tuesday. PTI

More than a dozen senior leaders in both the Congress and BJP in Rajasthan are pushing hard to ensure seats for their children or grandchildren ahead of ticket distribution for the Assembly elections.

While senior leaders are holding discussions to decide the first list of candidates, many sitting and former MLAs and ministers are pushing to reserve tickets for family members.

The cabinet ministers who are ready to step aside in exchange for a seat for their family members are Development Minister Nandlal Meena, Environmental Minister Gajendra Singh Khimser and Labour Minister Jaswant Singh.

The situation in the Congress is pretty much the same, with many senior leaders putting their interests in the back seat to secure tickets for the family.

While sources say that former chief minister Ashok Gehlot is pitching for a ticket for his son Vaibhav Gehlot, other leaders who want tickets for family members are Mamta Sharma, Bhawar Lal Meghwal and Allaudin Azad.

According to sources, four sitting MLAs of the BJP — Nand Lal Meena, Devi Singh Bhatti, Kisna Ram Naai, Gopal Joshi — are keen to be replaced by their grandchildren.

The family of former deputy prime minister and BJP stalwart, the late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, is keen to ensure a ticket for his grandson Abhimanyu Rajvi, who is currently the president of the BJP's youth wing in the state.

While in the Congress, Divya Maderna, daughter of former Congress minister Mahipal Maderna, is eyeing a ticket on the pretext of pleasing the Jat community in the state. Divya, however, is an accused in the Bhanwari Devi case.

A senior Congress leader, while talking to DH, said, "Most of the leaders are trying to convince the screening committee by giving suggestive examples of caste equations."

According to BJP insiders, even party chief Madan Lal Meena wants a ticket for his son. Most of the leaders who want tickets for the family fall in the age group of 70-80.

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