JAIPUR : In June this year, Ghanshyam Tiwari, a five-time MLA and former minister of Rajasthan, had resigned from BJP, accusing Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of corruption and autocratic behaviour. Raje has now fielded her loyalist Ashok Lahoti to stop her bête noire from reaching the Assembly in the December 7 polls. The young Jaipur Mayor is pitted against Tiwari on the Sanganer seat of Jaipur and is confident that the anti-incumbency will not dent his prospects as he is a fresh face in the segment.
“I am new here, so there is no anti-incumbency against me. It’s against the person who has represented this constituency but has never been here in the last five years. The people here are feeling cheated. I will give them what they are expecting from me. Development is my core agenda,” he says.
Campaigning along with wife Leena, Lahoti doesn’t feel it will be an uphill challenge against Tiwari, who has successfully contested last three elections from Sanganer, winning with a record margin in 2013.
The Young Turk says it was the BJP symbol that made Tiwari victorious. “We’ll see how he fares this time now that he is not contesting on a BJP ticket. He is a senior leader and I do not want to get into any personal fight,” he says.
Lahoti’s critics say not much work has been done in Jaipur despite its inclusion in the Smart City list. The mayor, however, claims he has worked as the “jamadaar” (sweeper) of the city. He wants to work with similar dedication in Sanganer and make it “the ideal constituency and the best in Rajasthan”. However, he is quick to add, “I am making no promises. I believe in doing work, not making tall promises.”
Lahoti says he would rather focus on solving the problems of people in his constituency. Asked what issues in his constituency he would address first if he wins, he refuses to be specific and says he’ll let his work do the talking.
BJP candidate from Sanganer, Rajasthan
Is the mayor of Jaipur; was a leader of BJP Yuva Morcha; contested and lost in 2008 state polls, was denied ticket in 2013