Rahul fields 6 'parachute' candidates in Rajasthan

Rahul fields 6 'parachute' candidates in Rajasthan

Supporters of those denied Congress tickets, hold a protest outside the Congress office in Jaipur. Banners read 'Go Parachute candidates'. DH PHOTO/ Tabeenah Anjum 

The Congress may have borrowed ample amount of time to accommodate most of the candidates from its two infighting camps, but the list seems to have forgotten the promise made by its high command, Rahul Gandhi, on the entry of "parachute candidates." 

Contrary to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's claims about not fielding "parachute" candidates (new candidates), out of 152 names declared, the party has given tickets to six people who joined the party recently. 

Turn-coat and former BJP MP Harish Meena, who had switched over to the Congress on Wednesday, has been fielded from Deoli Uniara.

Other new candidates, Habib Ur Rehman from Nagaur, who joined the party on Wednesday, and Khanhaiya Lal Jhawar, who joined the party on Thursday evening from Bikaner East seat, have also been fielded.

Independent MLA Raj Kumar Sharma has been fielded from his current seat of Nawalgarh.

Interestingly, Sona Devi Bawri had won the 2013 Assembly election on a Zamindar Party ticket. The Congress has given her a ticket from Raisingh Nagar.

Moreover, IPS officer Sawai Singh Godara took VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) a day ago and is to be fielded by the Congress from Khinwsar.

Protest outside Cong office

The day after inclusion of "parachute candidates," the Congress office on Friday witnessed a series of protests by the supporters of those candidates who were denied tickets.

The protesters flagged off a banner plea, which read "Anpadh Bhagao, Parachute Hatao" (remove illiterates, remove outsiders). A similar banner read, "Parachute candidate nahin challenge" (parachute candidates won't do).

The supporters were hinting towards Congress president Rahul Gandhi's significant announcements till a few days ago regarding "parachute leaders."

Terming Gandhi's claims as just a "jumla," (poll tricks) a supporter of B D Kalla a senior Congress leader who was denied ticket, told DH. "Rahul Gandhi had been assuring that he will not allow leaders from other parties to contest on Congress tickets. But the party's list has come to us as a major disappointment."

Political observers see the Congress list as a mix of everything just to get hold of the lost forte. "There are new players and old faces as well. For instance, to save the Jat territory, they have fielded Divya Maderna. But they failed to stick to their claim that those who haven't served the party for more than six years will not be given tickets," a senior Congress leader told DH

Alliance in making 

According to Congress leaders, as a part of the grand alliance in Rajasthan, the party has firmed up an alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The SP is likely to contest on three seats and the RLD on two seats.

Rajasthan will go to polls on December 7 and counting will be held on December 11.

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