Even though he was ineligible to contest the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) polls, former Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Rameshwar Dudi filed his nomination for the post of RCA president — which was subsequently rejected — amid high drama on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, RCA Electoral Officer Rajani Ranjan Rashmi had disqualified Nagaur District Cricket Association (DCA) where Dudi is the president — allegedly over its proximity to former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi — thus making him ineligible to contest RCA elections. Later in the day, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot filed his papers for RCA president post and is expected to sail through.
Overnight Wednesday, Nagaur Lok Sabha MP and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLTP) chief Hanuman Beniwal, part of the NDA, had openly expressed his support to Dudi and had asked his supporters to gather at Jaipur Sawai Man Singh stadium on Wednesday morning. In a statement on his official Facebook account, Beniwal said, “The dictatorial CM tried to commit political murder of Rameshwar Dudi by ensuring his defeat from Nokha during the Assembly elections and now, for selfish reasons, he is undemocratically electing his son to the post of RCA president, while the real contender Rameshwar Dudi was pushed back.”
Along with RLTP cadre, Dudi himself reached SMS stadium Wednesday morning and proceeded to file his nomination papers. However, RLPT supporters jostled with police. Later, talking to journalists, an enraged Dudi likened Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s efforts for his son, Vaibhav Gehlot, to that of “Dhritarashtra” from Mahabharata.
“I am a farmer’s son. I can take a stab to my chest, but I’m hurt about being stabbed in the back. I am also a worker associated with the Congress family and have toiled hard for the Congress party and towards strengthening Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi,” said Dudi, who was the Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Assembly while Vasundhara Raje was the CM. He alleged he was stopped from entering the stadium and subsequently from filing nominations, and that his supporters were also lathicharged.
Dudi said that he will take the “fight to its end”, even if it means fighting it “in the apex court.” Without taking Ashok Gehlot’s name, he attacked the government for “misusing” its authority and for its “dictatorial” attitude. “This puts a question mark on the CM,” he said, alleging bias by Electoral Officer Rajani Ranjan Rashmi in disqualifying three DCAs which were backing him.
Later in the evening, his nomination was rejected by Rashmi. Apart from Vaibhav Gehlot and Dudi, Jodhpur DCA secretary Ram Prakash Choudhary also filed his nomination papers for the post of RCA president. The voting will take place on Friday.
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