Mandawa in Rajathan to have tough contest

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Jhunjhunu, Nov 30 (UNI) Mandawa constituency is all set to witness a tough contest during December 4 Assembly elections with Rajasthan Assembly Speaker -- a nine time legislator -- Sumitra Singh of BJP, Congress' stalwart Ram Narain Chaudhary's daughter Rita Kumari, Salim Tanvar of BSP and Independent Narendra Khichad, being in the fray.

Ms Singh, who had held Pilani seat three times and represented Jhunjhunu constituency for six terms, has shifted to Mandawa and faces a tough challenge from the Congress.

This time the Congress has allowed to rest veteran leader chaudhary and handed over the baton to Ms Kumari who has been assisting the party in electioneering and all other political affairs since 1993.

Mr Khichad and Mr Tanwar were making untiring efforts and have made the contest difficult.

Mr Khichad, who has reportedly been enjoying support of Thukar Kesri Singh's family, had also contested in 2003 as an Independent candidate and had secured around 12500 votes.

There is a general feeling among the voters that the Thakur's family which wields influence among locals was against Ms Singh's shifting to Mandawa.

However, the Congress was also facing trouble due to the BSP nominee who had been trying to secure maximum votes from Dalits and Muslims.

At the same time Congress debutante Ms Kumari and her father are also confident to win the seat.

Ms Kumari, a Post Graduate with MBA, accepts that she had got the ticket unexpectedly but says she was not a stranger for the party workers and voters.

''I have been working with my father since 1993 in the constituency and looking after his office works and other political affairs sine then,'' she said adding that hence she was not a stranger for voters party workers and expecting to get a good response from them.

Speaker Ms Singh is also spearheading her campaigning in a systematic manner. However, she feels that Mandawa is a new constituency to her and she got less time for campaigning.

''But this is not a problem, people know me well and I have contested different constituencies on as many as the five symbols since 1957,'' she said.

Mandawa in the past had favoured Congress as party won in eight of the 12 elections.

UNI SS SK VC1410

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