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Shifting Sands of Rajasthan Polls: 2 Modi Govt Ministers among 8 MPs BJP May Field to Fight in Desert Storm

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A key face in the Modi cabinet who was given additional charge of Law and Justice when Kiren Rijiju was moved out of the portfolio, Arjun Ram Meghwal’s name is also under active consideration for the forthcoming Rajasthan polls, say BJP sources. File pic/News18

News18 tells you the eight names that are likely to be asked to take the plunge in the assembly polls and the possible seats

The Bharatiya Janata Party is actively considering as many as eight members of Parliament to field in the upcoming Rajasthan assembly election, sources told News18 on Monday. At least two of them are central ministers. On Sunday night, the BJP held a meeting of its Central Election Committee (CEC)—the body that decides who will be given party tickets and from which seats. The party is believed to have given its stamp on 39 seats from the desert state.

Here’s a look at the eight names that are likely to be asked to take the plunge in the assembly polls and the possible seats:

1. MP from Barmer-Jaisalmer and Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Kailash Choudhary is tipped to be among the likely faces whom the BJP is considering trying in the state polls in Rajasthan. The BJP may field him from either the Barmer or Pachpadra seat. Choudhary fought as an MLA in 2018 from Baitu but lost. Thereafter, he contested for Lok Sabha the next year and won.

2. A key face in the Modi cabinet who was given additional charge of Law and Justice when Kiren Rijiju was moved out of the portfolio, Arjun Ram Meghwal’s name is also under active consideration for the forthcoming Rajasthan polls, say BJP sources. The MP from Bikaner may be fielded from the Khajuwala assembly seat. Meghwal, who also holds the important portfolios of Parliamentary Affairs and Culture, proudly wears a Rajasthani turban around the year.

3. The third name that is prominently doing the rounds in the Rajasthan BJP corridors is Diya Kumari who is the MP from Rajsamand. She is being considered from Hawa Mahal in Jaipur City. Kumari is from Jaipur’s royal lineage and has been an MLA from Sawai Madhopur seat where the royals still hold a lot of sway.

4. Alwar MP Mahant Balaknath is also the BJP’s Rajasthan vice president. The saffron-clad BJP leader is also likely to be fielded in the upcoming state polls. The buzz in the BJP is that the party has shortlisted Behror for him.

5. Shri Ganganagar is at the India-Pakistan border. Nihal Chand Meghwal is the MP from this Lok Sabha constituency and may be fielded from the Raisinghnagar seat. He has been an MLA from the assembly seat in the past and that is why it is being considered for Meghwal, should the BJP CEC clear his name.

6. Tonk may be Congress leader Sachin Pilot’s home turf, but the Lok Sabha constituency, i.e., Tonk-Sawai Madhopur, went to the BJP in 2019. Its MP Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria who won the Lok Sabha constituency with a margin of 1,11,291 votes by defeating Namo Narain Meena of the Congress in 2019 is also on the BJP’s radar for the state polls this time. He is likely to be fielded either from the Deoli-Uniara or Kotputli seat.

7. Though not among the first considerations, BJP is also open to asking its Jhunjhunu MP Narendra Kumar to contest the Rajasthan election, say sources. BJP Rajasthan has also shortlisted the Mandawa assembly seat for him and his name finds a place among the recommendations the state unit sent to the Sunday CEC.

8. The sole BJP Rajya Sabha member whose name is also doing the rounds to fight it out in the electoral fray this time and that too when the BJP is in the opposition is Dr Kirodi Lal Meena. A former cabinet minister in the Rajasthan government, Meena has been MLA five times before. He is also a well-known face from the Meena community. The Rajya Sabha lawmaker may be asked to fight from the Sapotra seat that the Congress has won twice consecutively.

Earlier, in a surprise move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielded a number of its union ministers and a total of seven Members of Parliament for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly election. Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel, and Faggan Singh Kulaste featured in the second list of 39 candidates for the state polls, which was released by the party.



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NDA Likely To Have Panel Of Spokespersons

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a suggestion to this effect in the meeting of NDA MPs during the recent session of Parliament.(File Photo: YouTube Narendra Modi)

Asked if the NDA will have a convener, a position which existed earlier but was not revived after the BJP stormed to power in 2014, sources said there is no such plan as of now

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance will soon have a panel of spokespersons drawn from its different constituents to coordinate their response on key issues to ensure that the ruling bloc is seen to be speaking in one voice, sources said on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a suggestion to this effect in the meeting of NDA MPs during the recent session of Parliament.

Sources said such an arrangement may be put in place during the upcoming Budget session.

Asked if the NDA will have a convener, a position which existed earlier but was not revived after the BJP stormed to power in 2014, sources said there is no such plan as of now.

The BJP fell short of majority in the recent Lok Sabha polls but the alliance led by it comfortably crossed the halfway mark. Several allies were given Cabinet berths in the government, with the BJP making it a point to project the government as one of the NDA.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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‘Winning and Losing Happen in Life’: Rahul Gandhi Asks People Not to Be Nasty Towards Smriti Irani

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Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi. (PTI file image)

“Winning and losing happen in life. I urge everyone to refrain from using derogatory language and being nasty towards Smt. Smriti Irani or any other leader for that matter,” Gandhi said on X

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi on Friday urged people to refrain from using derogatory language and being nasty towards former Union minister Smriti Irani or any other leader.

His remarks come amid some people taking digs at Irani after she vacated her official bungalow following her defeat in the Lok Sabha polls to Congress’ Kishori Lal Sharma in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi.

“Winning and losing happen in life. I urge everyone to refrain from using derogatory language and being nasty towards Smt. Smriti Irani or any other leader for that matter,” Gandhi said on X.

“Humiliating and insulting people is a sign of weakness, not strength,” the former Congress president said.

The BJP’s IT department head Amit Malviya hit back at Gandhi, accusing him of putting out a disingenuous message after “unleashing” Congress leaders like “a pack of wolves” on her.

Malviya said on X, “This is the most disingenuous message, ever. After unleashing Congress leaders, like a pack of wolves, on the woman who defeated him in Amethi and smashed his arrogance to smithereens, this is rich. All this gibberish doesn’t take away from the fact that Smt Smriti Irani forced Balak Buddhi to abandon Amethi.” Irani vacated her official bungalow at 28 Tughlak Crescent in Lutyens’ Delhi, weeks after she was defeated by Sharma, a close aide of the Gandhi family, from Amethi parliamentary seat with a margin of over 1.6 lakh votes.

The former women and child development minister was dubbed a giant slayer in 2019 after she defeated Rahul Gandhi from the seat.

As Irani vacated her official bungalow, some people took swipes and mocked her over her defeat in the poll.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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Uniform Civil Code Could Be Driven By States, Not Centre, Hint BJP Sources

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This February, BJP-ruled Uttarakhand passed the UCC Bill, becoming India’s first state to implement the Uniform Civil Code, which entails common laws for marriage, divorce and inheritance, among others, for all religions. (Image for representation: Getty)

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that the party was hopeful that after Uttarakhand, other BJP-ruled states would follow suit soon

The Narendra Modi government may not be keen on bringing any law pertaining to the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) through Parliament and would instead prefer states to bring in their own legislation, top Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) sources said on Friday.

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that the party was hopeful that after Uttarakhand, other BJP-ruled states would follow suit soon. States such as Gujarat and Assam are already in the process of passing UCC laws.

This February, BJP-ruled Uttarakhand passed the UCC Bill, becoming India’s first state to implement the Uniform Civil Code, which entails common laws for marriage, divorce and inheritance, among others, for all religions.

Meanwhile, Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Friday he would wait for the law commission’s evaluation of the issue. Last month, he had said the issue was still on the government’s agenda.

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) was wary of the 22nd Law Commission seeking public opinion on the contentious issue of UCC. Even Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram — an RSS affiliate that focuses on the welfare of members of the Scheduled Tribes in remote areas of India — told News18 last year they too had objections on the issue. The RSS affiliate had doubts about marriage and property rights issues among tribals.

In the third term of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, the BJP doesn’t have simple majority and is dependent on its allies, including the Telugu Desam Party and the Janata Dal (United). The JD(U) has earlier indicated that a decision on UCC would require consensus.



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