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Rajasthan DyCM confident Congress will repeat 1998 feat

Onkar Singh in Tonk | November 28, 2003 18:12 IST

When caught up with Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Banwari Lal Bhairwa at Chariyo village in the Niwaii assembly segment, he did not seem worried about retaining his seat, which had elected him in 1993 and 1998.

His immediate problem was to secure the release of over half a dozen of his vehicles. Police had seized them as his convoy had more vehicles than that permitted by the Election Commission.

Bhairwa claimed the tremendous work he has done in his constituency would enable him to defeat his BJP rival Hira Lal Rehgar, a former civil servant, by a margin of over 25,000 votes.

Niwaii has over 1.47 lakh voters and there are nine candidates in the fray. Earlier this week, Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde was in the constituency to canvass for the Congress party.

"I do not believe in holding too many public meetings or street corner meetings. I prefer to visit the villagers in their respective villages," Bhairwa told

He denies the anti-incumbency factor would work in Rajasthan. "Ashok Gehlot's government has done a good job and the people will return us to power with a thumping majority. We will repeat the performance of 1998 if not better it," he claimed. The Congress had 153 of the 200 seats in the last assembly.

"Almost all the villages have been connected by road. When the state faced a severe draught, not one family left the state in search of jobs," the deputy chief minister claimed.

Two supporters, Munni Devi Meena and Ruma Devi Meena, backed this claim saying, "We face draught every year. But this time we did not know when the draught came and when it was over. We got work, food and water."

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