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BJP playing emotional card in Rajasthan bypolls

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sought to play an emotional card by fielding former minister Kiran Maheshwari’s daughter from the Rajsamand seat, which is among the three Assembly constituencies going to by-elections in Rajasthan on April 17. The Opposition party released the list of its candidates late on Thursday night.

The BJP’s candidates for the bypolls are a mix of veterans, and a novice, as the party has fielded former ministers Ratanlal Jat from Sahara (Bhilwara) and Khemaram Meghwal from Sujangarh (Churu). Rajsamand is the only constituency among the three where the BJP candidate had won in the 2018 Assembly election.

Rajsamand candidate Deepti Maheshwari, 34, who expects to win riding on the sympathy wave, is the daughter of Kiran Maheshwari, a three-time MLA, former MP and former State Minister, who died due to a COVID-19 infection in November 2020. The late BJP leader served as the party’s national secretary in 2011 and national vice-president in 2013.

Ms. Maheshwari was elected as an MP from Udaipur-Rajsamand seat in 2004, when she defeated Girija Vyas of the Congress. She was elected as an MLA from Rajsamand for the first time in 2008, and she held the post of higher education minister in the previous BJP government in the State. She was also the BJP Mahila Morcha’s national president in 2006.

The BJP has opted for veteran leader Khemaram Meghwal, 55, from Sujangarh, which fell vacant following the death of Congress MLA and minister Bhanwarlal Meghwal. Mr. Khemaram has been a two-time MLA from Sujangarh as well as a Minister of State, having three-decades-long experience in politics in the State’s Shekhawati region.

Ratanlal Jat, 73, who was the higher education minister in the Bhairon Singh Shekhawat government, is also an experienced leader. He was elected an MLA twice from Sahara and was later appointed Zila Pramukh of Bhilwara and chairperson of the Rajasthan State Seeds Corporation. He is at present a member of the BJP’s State Working Committee.

BJP State president Satish Poonia said here on Friday that the party had selected its candidates for the bypolls on the basis of their “winning potential”. He said there was strong resentment among the people against the Congress government, and issues of incomplete farm loan waiver, unemployment and the law and order situation would play an important role in the polling.

The process for nominations has started and the last date for filing of papers is March 30. The ruling Congress is expected to announce the list of its candidates shortly. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on March 31 and nominations can be withdrawn by April 3.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 7:39:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-playing-emotional-card-in-rajasthan-bypolls/article34173808.ece

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