At least four bureaucrats are said to be eyeing Rajasthan’s Barmer Lok Sabha seat, after the then sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Colonel Sona Ram vacated it last year to contest state polls.
Senior Indian Administrative (IAS) officer Lalit K Panwar, Mahendra Singh Choudhary, inspector general of police at Crime Branch – Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID), Indian Police Service (IPS) officer SR Jangid and chief engineer at Indian railways NR Choudhary are all seeking a BJP ticket.
A 1979-batch IAS official, Lalit K Panwar is vice-chancellor at Rajasthan Skill University. He is a former chairman of Rajasthan Public Service Commission and former secretary of ministry of tourism and minority affairs at the Centre. Panwar is a native of Jasol town in Barmer. The Vasundhara Raje government appointed him special officer in Barmer during the 2006 floods that killed 104 people.
Caste equations favour Panwar in the Barmer seat. He belongs to the SC community, which constitutes 25-30% (including ST) of the voters at this seat. He has a good rapport with other communities, including other backward castes (OBCS). BJP could consider these factors to field Panwar in the Barmer seat, says Manoj Gujar, a political analyst.
Panwar said his supporters have asked him to contest, but he has not decided yet. “It is as yet at discussion stage and nothing is final. Let us wait and watch till final verdict is out.”
Mahendra Singh Choudhary, inspector general of police at Crime Branch – Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) is also vying for the Barmer seat. Like Panwar, Choudhary too hails from Barmer. Choudhary’s name was in the fray for the assembly elections last year.
Gujar said the BJP would not want to disturb the Jat community, which helped Sona Ram defeat veteran leader Jaswant Singh who had contested as an independent in the 2014 elections. “If BJP is not in the mood to repeat the sitting MP, Mahendra Singh Choudhary could be a better option, as he has a good support base in the Jat community, which has about 25% vote share in this seat,” Gujar said.
Choudhary says if the party leadership asks him to contest, he will. “I have submitted my candidature before the party leadership and am interested to contest from Barmer parliamentary seat. If the party gives me chance, I will contest,” Choudhary said.
Sangaram Jangid, another native of Barmer, is director general of police (DGP) and chief vigilance officer at Metropolitan Transport Corporation in Chennai. Jangid has been active in Barmer, taking part in social programs. His supporters are running a social media campaign for his candidature from the Barmer seat. Jangid has met community leaders of Barmer to explore his possibilities.
Jangid says, “My supporters wants me to contest. But I will speak at the right time.”
A family member of Jangid, on the condition of anonymity, said Jangid has submitted his claim to the party BJP.
NR Choudhary is another name in the fray from the Jat community. A senior official in Indian Railways, Choudhary belongs to Barmer. He sought a BJP ticket for the 2014 general elections as well as the 2018 state assembly elections, but did not get one. Choudhary is now seeking a ticket for this election. He has appealed to voters over various media platforms seeking support. “I am willing to serve my people. I am in Barmer and meeting the people. I have submitted my claim before the party (BJP) leadership and now it is up to the party to decide my candidature,” Choudhary said.
Mar 25, 2019 15:17 IST
Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lok-sabha-elections/lok-sabha-elections-2019-bureaucrats-vying-for-bjp-ticket-from-barmer-constituency/story-1mZ1UduCTgKyQz5Hm1RzlI.html