While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has handed fresh tickets 14 of its sitting MPs to contest the ensuing general elections, it has dropped Santosh Ahlawat, its sole woman parliamentarian. As surprised as she is aggrieved, the university gold medallist and double MLA, opens up to Rajesh Asnani on her reactions to being excluded from the poll list:
What do you have to say on your name being excluded from the BJP’s list of 16 candidates from Rajasthan?
I am the only sitting MP to have been denied a ticket. Those in the media should speak out on this and question our leadership
Why do you think the ticket was not given to you?
I don’t know. I have done so much work. I was among the 25 MPs to have been awarded in January. The award was conferred on the basis of work done, among criterions.
Do you feel that you still have any chance of getting the ticket from some other constituency?
I don’t think so. They’ve already declared the candidate from my constituency. I’m shocked.
What do you think about the candidate who has been preferred over you?
The one who will be contesting my seat (Narendra Khinchal) previously won the Mandawa Assembly seat by just 2,200 votes. I won this seat by 51,000 votes.
Have you talked to the leadership on being snubbed?
I didn’t talk to anyone. I have neither received any message from the state leadership nor the top brass.