With ticket distribution causing a spate of heartburn on both sides of the aisle in Rajasthan, political leaders in the state have resorted to one of the oldest tricks there is: Contest as an independent.
For instance, independent candidate Mahendra Singh Bhati, who is contesting elections from Osian, has been a Congress leader. Angry with not being given a ticket, he choose to contest as an independent. Congress leader Parasram Mordia, who was denied a ticket in Dhond, has contested the elections as an independent. The same goes for Mahadeo Singh Khandela, who has been a minister in the Rajasthan Assembly, and was denied a ticket. He is standing as an independent.
Former Congress minister Babu Lal Nagar, and former MLA Nathuram Sinodia are now standing for elections as well, from Dudu and Kishangarh respectively as independents. Needless to say, most of these leaders stand a strong chance. Sources in the Congress said that matters have come to such a head that one of these leaders were heckled by Congress party workers. Curiously, some of these leaders share close ties to former CM Ashok Gehlot or state PCC president Sachin Pilot.
Likewise, in BJP, former minister Rajkumar Rinwa is standing for elections as an independent from Ratangarh, while minister Hem Singh Badhana is trying to defend the Thanagazi seat solo. Ministers Dhan Singh Rawat as well as Surendra Goyal, too, are standing for elections as independents from Banswara and Jaitaram seats, respectively.
Poll analyst Ashafaque Kayamkhani says this is one of the rare times when the independents will hold their sway. “Fight will be tough in more than 20 seats where some prominent leaders are contesting as independents. And, some might be instrumental in scripting the fate of the party who comes to power,” says poll analyst Ashafaque Kayamkhani.
“Fight will be tough in more than 20 seats where some prominent leaders are contesting as independents. And, some might be instrumental in scripting the fate of the party who comes to power,” says poll analyst Ashafaque Kayamkhani.