BJP names ex-Jaipur royal Diya Kumari from Rajsamand; internal tussle delays Dausa pick
New Delhi, Apr 07: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday announced names of four more Lok Sabha poll candidates for Rajasthan, which included Diya Kumari, a member of the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur.
With Kumari's nomination, the BJP has attempted its last-ditch to strengthen ties with the Rajput community, which is miffed with the party due to annoyance with former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over several issues, including denial of candidature to former Union Minister Jaswant Singh in 2014.
It is learnt that BJP was torn over fielding a Rajput candidate or a Rawat candidate in Rajsamand-a crucial area in which the party won all eight assembly segments in 2013. Both Rajputs and Rawats are important BJP vote banks.
Talk of Diya Kumari being fielded in the Lok Sabha elections was rife since Assembly elections in 2018 when she was not given a ticket. It was expected that she would be making her debut on the national stage in the 2019 general elections. She will contest against Congress party's Devkinandan Gurjar.
However, strong protests surfaced in Rajsamand (Mewar region) when Kumari's name appeared on top from the constituency. They termed her as an outsider and demanded a local candidate.
The sitting MP of Rajsamand Hariom Singh had refused to contest this time citing health reasons.
Meanwhile, BJP has yet to announce its candidate for Dausa Lok Sabha seat. The party has taken too long to decide its candidate where Meena leader Kirori Lal is demanding a ticket for his wife. But many within the party are supporting Om Prakash Hudla who contested a past election as an independent and registered victory in spite of opposition from Kirori Lal.
Out of 25 lok sabha seats in Rajasthan BJP has declared its candidates on 23, while one has been allocated to its ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party which has fileded Hanuman Beniwal from Nagaur.
Rajasthan will vote in two phases-April 29 and May 6. Votes will be counted on May 23.