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BJP struggles to pick seat for Diya Kumari

The public outrage and the poor show in 2008 is said to have made the Congress iffy.

Written by Sweta Dutta | Jaipur |
October 22, 2013 12:37:28 am

Weeks after inducting former Jaipur royal Diya Kumari,the state BJP is unable to decide a seat for her.

Requests have been pouring in to field her from Hawa Mahal,where City Palace is located and where Diya Kumari has been involved in community service,but BJP state chief Vasundhara Raje is not confident.

Hawa Mahal,in the densely populated old city,is dominated by Brahmans but changed character post delimitation in 2008 when several minority dominated areas were added to the constituency.

The seat has been a BJP stronghold with party veteran Bhanwar Lal Sharma holding fort since 1977.

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As the six-time MLA — 1977,1980,1985,1990,1993 and 1998 — took a backseat owing to age and a nagging vision problem,the seat went to Surendra Pareek of BJP in 2003.

In 2008,Brij Kishore Sharma,son of Congress veteran and former Gujarat governor Nawal Kishore Sharma,won but by a thin margin of 580 votes.

Faced with a weaker BJP candidate in Bhanwar Lal Sharma’s daughter Manju,Brij Kishore scraped through.

The win,however,came in the face of opposition from his party colleagues. A minority candidate fielded by the Samajwadi Party was reportedly supported by his opponents in the party.

Nawal Kishore’s legacy later helped Brij Kishore edge out internal differences and get into Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s Cabinet as the education minister.

But his poor visibility in the constituency drew the ire of locals,who earlier this month roughed him up when he went to inaugurate rooms for a school.

The public outrage and the poor show in 2008 is said to have made the Congress iffy of fielding him here again.

In the meantime,Raje has received a flood of applications for the seat. Bhanwar Lal’s daughter Manju is yet again seeking a ticket,so is her brother Manoj. The RSS,headquartered in this part of the city,insists on a veteran Brahman face.

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