TAMIL NADU

Former BCCI chief may join BJP

JAIPUR SEPT. 6. The Congress has seemingly lost out to the Bharatiya Janata Party in its attempts to rope in former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, Raj Singh Dungarpur, for campaigning in the next elections due later this year. The Congress leadership in the State had been very hopeful of Mr. Singh, a scion of the erstwhile royal family of Dungarpur in Rajasthan, joining the party till the other day.

Mr. Dungarpur, who lives in his South London flat overlooking the Lord's all through the summer, is reportedly in India but could not be contacted. However, informed political sources here affirm that his joining the BJP is only a matter of time.

The BJP circles here are of the view that his entry would enhance the party's image at the national level while at the same time cater to the ego of the Rajput community in Rajasthan to which he belongs.

The mastermind behind the last-minute turnaround on the part of a rather a-political sports celebrity is reportedly the BJP general secretary, Pramod Mahajan, who got the support of the party's Rajasthan unit president, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, and the Union Minister Arun Jaitley in his endeavour. Sources here also hint at the role played by a very senior Constitutional functionary in Delhi in the whole affair.

The BJP in Rajasthan has been in search of a substitute for the senior Rajput leader, Devi Singh Bhati, who was expelled for six years from primary membership of the party the other day.

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