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|February 4, 1998|
Ex-bureaucrats versus politicians
Poll veterans in Rajasthan have a new challenge to contend with -- the bureaucrat-turned-politicians.
This year, quite a few ex-bureaucrats and former defence officers have decided to take to the Lok Sabha poll. Result: there are many an ex-high-up official -- IAS, IPS, former justices... the list goes on -- sweating it out there on the campaign trail.
Let's take a quick see at who's fighting who, and where:
Retired Indian Administrative Service officer and Janata Dal nominee Chandra Prakash Meena is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party stalwart and former maharani of Dholpur Vasundhara Raje in Jhalawar. There is a third party, Congress nominee Bharat Singh, also in the fray.
Retired Rajasthan Administrative Service officer Mangi Lal Masalpuria is contesting the Jalore seat for the Janata Dal. He has former Union minister Buta Singh (a rebel Congressman), sitting MP Parsaram Meghwal (Congress) and Gena Ram Meghwal (BJP) for company.
Mahaveer Singh, another of the RAS cadre, has been fielded by the All India Rashtriya Janata Party in Nagaur.
Retired Indian Foreign Service officer and former Union minister K Natwar Singh is seeking a second term from Bharatpur on a Congress ticket. Former princess of Bharatpur Krishnendra Kaur, riding a Samajwadi Party ticket, and Dr Digambar Singh of the BJP are his opponents.
In Bayana, from where former Rajasthan chief minister Jagannath Pahadia (Congress) and sitting MP Ganga Ram Koli (BJP) are seeking entry to the Lower House, former RAS-man Than Singh Jatav (Janata Dal) is trying his luck.
While Jatav had held the seat as a BJP nominee once, Rohitashwa Kumar had lost the election in 1996 on a Janata Dal ticket.
Another 'bureaucratic' candidate is Congress nominee Usha Meena in the Sawai Madhopur constituency. Her claim to officialdom is through husband Dharma Singh Meena, a senior IAS officer.
Three former defence services officers are also in the fray seeking subsequent terms.
Former Union minister Rajesh Pilot (Congress), who was an officer in the Indian Air Force, is seeking his fifth term from Dausa.
Former Union minister Jaswant Singh, an ex-major in the army, is seeking his fourth entry to the Lok Sabha from Chittorgarh.
Colonel Sona Ram (retired) is contesting the Barmer seat for a second term.
The legal men exhibiting political aspirations -- though not for the first time -- include former chief justice of the Guwahati high court Guman Mal Lodha (BJP) who is seeking a fourth term in the Lok Sabha from Pali, and senior Supreme Court advocate and former Union minister Jagdeep Dhankar (Congress) who is contesting the Jhunjhunu seat against Union Minister Sheesh Ram Ola (Congress-Secular).
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