Manshankar Ninama was a little-known face when he was declared the BJP candidate from the Banswara-Dungarpur Lok Sabha seat in the 2014 general elections.
Riding a Modi wave, Ninama, 60, managed to win the seat, defeating Resham Malviya of the Congress by more than 1.5 lakh votes.
Ninama, who is an under-matric, has been associated with the Jan Sangh before he became a BJP member. He has risen through the ranks in the party. He started his political career by winning the sarpanch election. He then became a panchayat samiti member, then a zila parishad member and then a pradhan after which he was fielded in the general election.
His performance, many people say, was below par. He was not able to get any major project for the area nor did he actively tour his constituency, many locals say. As a result he was dropped this time and replaced by Kanakmal Katara.
This time the Congress has fielded ex-MP Tarachand Bhagora and the Bharatiya Tribal Party, formed before the assembly elections, has fielded Kantilal Roat. The BTP’s entry could prove tough for both the Congress and the BJP.
Bhagora says Ninama failed to perform in his tenure. He said Ninama was unable to raise issues of the region effectively in parliament.
While Ninama is not upset with the party’s decision to cut his ticket, he contends that his performance was up to the mark.
Among the major works he counts is getting a hospital and medical college in Dungarpur at a cost of Rs 100 crore. The medical college has 200 seats and the hospital has 200 beds. “Health facilities in tribal areas are poor and a hospital and medical college is a major achievement for the area,” he said. Ninama said he also pushed for setting up the Tribal University in Banswara.
Nimesh Mehta, a social worker, said Ninama’s tenure has been lacklustre. “No projects for health or education were brought. A hospital and medical college was sanctioned for Banswara but it went to Dungarpur and the MP couldn’t stop that.”
He said there has been a longstanding demand for the Banswara-Ratlam railway line but that too did not materialise. “Connectivity to and from Banswara is a problem.”
He said there is scope for tourism development in Banswara but no initiative was taken for this.
Anil Vyas, a government school teacher, says Ninama focused more on his village Ghatol. He got encroachments on the state highway removed so that a bypass could be built to avoid traffic entering Ghatol.
“A lot of accidents took place due to dumpers, trucks and entering Ghatol and the local populace was very troubled by this. They had held agitations too and the bypass has come as a major relief,” said Vyas.
FACE TO FACE
‘Successful in getting land deeds for tribals’
In an interview with HT, MP Manshankar Ninama talked about his performance. Excerpts:
Q. What were the high points of your five-year term?
A. I raised questions in parliament about rights of tribals living in forest areas and was successful in getting land deeds for many of them.
Q. One thing you wanted to do as an MP but could not, why?
A. I tried to get the Banswara-Ratlam railway line project done but was not able to do that because of funding issues between the state and the Centre.
Q. How was your experience in parliament?
A. It was a learning experience. I got to meet and interact with many people.
‘Ninama failed to get funds for railway line’
Congress candidate Tarachand Bhagora said Ninama failed to perform in his tenure. He said Ninama could not get funds for the railway line. He was unable to raise issues of the region effectively in parliament. He could not protect rights of tribals and thousands were denied their rights given to them under the Forest Rights Act.
Apr 14, 2019 10:45 IST
Article source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/lok-sabha-elections/mp-report-card-banswara-bjp-changes-candidate-hopes-to-repeat-banswara-win/story-c3KhdX1Ma4OYLbcgzw5X2N.html