A former IPS officer, who was dismissed from service last month for an alleged extra-marital affair, his wife and another retired senior bureaucrat who converted to Islam citing victimisation on grounds of being a Dalit, are among the candidates who will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket in Rajasthan.
The trio are among the 11 candidates whose names were announced by the party in the state on Saturday.
In its second list of candidates for Rajasthan, the BSP has fielded former IPS officer Pankaj Chaudhary from the Barmer Lok Sabha seat, his wife Mukul Pankaj Chaudhary from the Jodhpur seat and former additional chief secretary from Rajasthan Umrao Salodia from the Jaipur parliamentary constituency.
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Following his dismissal, Chaudhary had announced to contest the elections and later chose the Barmer parliamentary seat for this purpose.
Before last year’s Assembly elections, his wife, Mukul Pankaj Chaudhary, had said that she will contest against former chief minister Vasundhara Raje from the Jhalrapatan constituency. However, she never contested at the end but lent her support to Congress candidate Manvendra Singh who subsequently lost the elections.
Singh is now the Congress candidate in Barmer while the BJP has fielded Kailash Chaudhary from the same seat.
This time, Mukul Pankaj Chaudhary has been fielded by the BSP from the Jodhpur parliamentary seat where the Congress and the BJP have fielded Vaibhav, son of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat respectively.
Salodia, a former senior IAS officer from Rajasthan of the rank of additional chief secretary, had taken voluntary retirement from service and had converted to Islam in 2015 after he was not considered for the post of chief secretary.
Back then, Salodia had cited victimisation, saying had he been made the chief secretary of Rajasthan, he would be the first officer from the SC/ST category to hold the post after independence.
The BSP has fielded Salodia from the Jaipur Lok Sabha seat. Salodia belongs to the SC category,
The Congress has fielded former mayor Jyoti Khandelwal from Jaipur while sitting MP from the seat, Ramcharan Bohara is the BJP’s candidate.
Rajasthan goes to polls on April 29 and May 6.
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