Reprieve for BJP: Shekhawat bows out of LS polls

Veteran BJP leader and former Rajasthan CM Bhairon Singh Shekhawat says he will not be able to contest the Lok Sabha polls due to health reasons.

Written by Apurva | Published:March 2, 2009 12:06 am

Veteran BJP leader and former Rajasthan CM Bhairon Singh Shekhawat says he will not be able to contest the Lok Sabha polls due to health reasons. The former vice-president had kicked up a storm in January when he announced that he might give the elections a shot. His ‘threat’ was taken seriously,especially after he wrote to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot asking him to probe allegations of corruption during the 2003-2008 BJP government. Now,the party’s leadership is heaving a sigh of relief. Sources in the BJP claimed that though several lower-rung BJP leaders offered their support to Shekhawat,senior state leaders refused to indulge his “whims”.

Dynasty politics gets a boost in the ‘state of kings’

With the Lok Sabha elections around the corner,politicians are looking to share a piece of the state’s power pie with their progeny and spouses. While Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav is vying for a ticket for the newly created Sawai Madhopur-Tonk seat,Water Resources Minister Mahipal Maderna’s wife Leela and daughter Divya are eying Pali. Sources in the Congress believe that Banarasi,the daughter of state Minister for Education Bhanwar Lal Meghwal,is looking to contest from Bikaner. The story is no different in the BJP. Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant awaits re-election from the Jhalawad constituency,along with former Union minister Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra from Barmer and Bangaru Lakshman’s wife Susheela from Jalore.

Sachin Pilot’s constituency quandary

After his Gurjjar-dominated Dausa seat — which he ‘inherited’ from his father Rajesh Pilot — was reserved for STs in the delimitation exercise,Congress leader and MP Sachin Pilot is yet to find a favourable constituency. Senior party leaders believe that he is on the lookout for another Gurjjar stronghold. While he exerts some influence in Sawai Madhopur-Tonk and Jaipur Rural constituencies,Congress sources cite the Meena community there as a drawback. Jhalawad,also a Gurjjar-dominated seat,is not high on Sachin’s list —Vasundhara Raje is the MLA and her son Dushyant the MP in this BJP bastion. Congress leaders say that Bhilwada or Ajmer,which have a fair share of the Gurjjar vote,are better options.

Dharmendra’s Bikaner flop show winds to a close

Unimpressed by filmstar Dharmdra’s performance in his Bikaner constituency,the BJP was saved the embarrassment of axing the actor’s seat after it was reserved for SCs. BJP workers had voiced numerous complaints against the actor,including that he did not visit his constituency enough. Recently,even a senior Congress leader quipped that the actor may have “forgotten” about his seat. Incidentally,Dharmendra himself has admitted he was not cut out for politics and said that actors should refrain from joining the electoral theatre.

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