Alwar | Rajasthan’s Alwar, the ground zero of India’s cow vigilantism, grapples every day with problems relating to drinking water and cleanliness but the biggest menace for citizens here is the presence of stray animals on city streets and they want to vote for those who can find a solution.
With the poll fever catching up ahead of the state assembly polls on December 7, a casual walk in any part of the city, which has over 4.5 lakh residents and 2.45 lakh voters, is not possible without the sight of dumps of garbage along the roads with stray cows, dogs and pigs nibbling on it.
Located in the eastern part of the state, Alwar shares a border with Haryana and forms a part of the Mewat region having a sizable population of the Mev (Muslim) community people.
About 60 km from Alwar city is Ramgarh and almost the same distance is Behror, both assembly constituencies which found place on national and global maps for incidents of alleged lynching of Muslim men on suspicion of cow smuggling.
Pehlu Khan was allegedly lynched in April last year in Behror, while Rakbar Khan met a similar fate at the hands of cow vigilantes in Behror in July this year.
Hardliner Hindutva leader Gyan Dev Ahuja, who often made controversial statements regarding the cases of cow vigilantism, failed to get a BJP ticket from Ramgarh, which has majority Mev population, and he chose to quit the party to file nomination from Sanganer in Jaipur as an independent candidate.
The BJP has fielded Sukhwant Singh from Ramgarh while Congress is relying on Safia Zubair Khan.
In Behror, which has Yadavs as a dominant community, both parties have fielded Yadav candidates, while locals said lynchings are a non-issue in their assembly seat.
“People are more concerned about other crimes like robberies and murders. Lynchings are not even being mentioned in political campaigns,” said Ashvini Yadav.
Dr S C Mittal agreed that stray animals including cows, dogs, pigs are a big menace along with the problem of cleanliness in the city and said the local authorities have “not been sincere” in their efforts to mitigate people’s woes.
“I frequently handle emergency cases of people who get attacked by stray animals or meet accidents due to these animals. Kisi ko gaay seengh maar deti hai, kisi ko saand utha ke patak deta hai (someone gets hit by a cow, someone by an bull), he said.
The 64-year-old, living in the city since 1985, said people go to the government hospital and other private hospitals too but the cases remain “under-reported” even though the magnitude is much high.
Lokeshwari Mathur, 58, said the road conditions have only deteriorated, there is no cleanliness, while stray cows and garbage dumps are a common sight all over the city.
She also lamented that public utilities are not taken care of and highlighted how encroachment is becoming a major problem in the city.
“I can no longer ride my scooter in the city because of traffic and bad roads,” the housewife said, claiming the number of women riding two wheelers in the city has gone down over the years.
Congress candidate from Alwar city, Shweta Saini, said the seat has been with the BJP for last 10 years but no work has been done.
The BJP realised that the public is angry which resulted in a major debacle for them in Lok Sabha bypoll, she said.
“This only led to cancellation of ticket of the sitting MLA which proves they have failed to work for people and by changing the face they are hoping to reduce that anger,” she claimed.
Saini said Alwar falls in the National Capital Region and has always been a simple, peaceful city.
“There should have been only good addition to that but instead the turned city into hell and pushed politics in Nagar Parishad, which is responsible for maintaining civic amenities like roads, drainage and cleanliness in the city,” she said.
Ankit Anil Bhargava said Alwar has slipped from 343 to 364 and then on to the 376th rank on the national cleanliness index in the last three years in a country of 434 cities.
“We, the youth, would try to ensure that candidates who are not serious towards basic issues like cleanliness and stray animals do not win from Alwar. This election, we want agenda to be cleanliness, employment opportunities and not temple, cow or jumla (hollow promises),” Bhargava, 33, said.
When contacted, MLA Banwari Lal Singhal, who has been replaced by Sanjay Sharma as the BJP candidate for the December 7 assembly poll, declined to talk, either over phone or in person.
The BJP district unit chief Sanjay Singh Narooka, however, said a lot of development work has been done in the last five years of his party’s regime.
Congress district chief Tika Ram Jully alleged that the BJP has always tried to ensure a communal angle to issues and sought to know what was being done about mob lynchings by the saffron party, which is in power in local municipal body, the state as well as at the Centre.
“If these incidents have not stopped, it reflects that they are not capable of governing. They only bring up these points ahead of elections to give it a religious colour and encash on it,” he told PTI.
Supporters of Gehlot, Pilot break into celebrations
Jaipur | Celebrations broke out among the supports of both Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot with the announcement of their appointment as chief minister and deputy chief minister of Rajasthan respectively. Firecrackers were burnt and jubilant supporters danced on the beating of drums as soon as confirmation of Gehlot’s appointment was made.
Since morning Gehlot supporters were camped in his civil lines residence here, waiting for the announcement.
From young to elderly, men and women, all were overenthusiastic and optimistic that Gehlot will be next chief minister and had put up hoardings and banners congratulating him on becoming the chief minister for the third time, even before the announcement.
“There was no doubt. We were saying this since yesterday that Ashok Gehlot will be the chief minister. He is experienced, mass leader and everyone connects with him so well,” a supporter of Gehlot told reporters. Supporters of Pilot were also celebrating his appointment as the deputy chief minister.
Pradesh Congres Committee (PCC) office was crowded with the party workers since afternoon. Elaborate security arrangements have been made outside the PCC and near the house of Pilot in Jalupura, a senior police official said.
The Congress on Friday named Gehlot as the state’s next chief minister and Pilot his deputy after party president Rahul Gandhi successfully brokered peace between the veteran leader and his younger colleague following several rounds of discussions.
Congress appoints Ashok Gehlot as Rajasthan’s new Chief minister
New Delhi | The Congress party today has announced that Ashok Gehlot will be the next CM of Rajasthan. Sachin pilot another frontrunner the CM’s race is been appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Veteran leader Gehlot will take oath as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan for the 3rd time.
Announcing the decision, KC Venugopal, All India Congress Committee observer for Rajasthan: said,” Congress President Rahul Gandhi has decided to appoint Ashok Gehlot Ji as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot will be the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan.”
KC Venugopal, All India Congress Committee observer for Rajasthan: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has decided to appoint Ashok Gehlot Ji as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot will be the Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan pic.twitter.com/TAJ7levt8F
— ANI (@ANI) December 14, 2018
Addressing media, Ashok Gehlot the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan said,”I thank everyone for this decision for giving me this opportunity to serve the people of Rajasthan.” Congress President Rahul Gandhi raised issues on employment, farmers and we will together deliver promises made by him,” he added.
Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister designate addressing the press conference thanked Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other legislators for the appointement of Ashok Gehlot as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
The Congress party had emerged as the single largest party with 99 seats in the Rajasthan assembly and with the support of BSP and other independent MLAs has staked claim for the government in Rajasthan.
The new CM of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot has won the assembly election from the Sardarpura constituency of Jodhpur is currently the national general secretary and in-charge of organizations and training of the Congress party. Gehlot was earlier the Chief Minister of Rajasthan from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2013. He is considered as one of the progressive Chief Minister the state has ever witnessed.
Ashok Gehlot is a 5-time member of parliament from Rajasthan. And held ministerial positions in the cabinet of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao.
Rahul to hold fresh round of discussions with Rajasthan CM hopefuls Gehlot, Pilot
New Delhi | Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to hold a fresh round of discussions on Friday with Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot, the two chief ministerial aspirants in Rajasthan, before taking a final call for the top post. The decision of Rajasthan’s next chief minister is likely to be taken before noon and will be made public at a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in state capital Jaipur, sources said.
After several rounds of discussions that lasted till Thursday midnight, Congress veteran Gehlot has emerged as a front-runner for the top post, while Pradesh Congress Committee president Pilot is being placated in attempts to broker peace between the two.
Party’s central observer for Rajasthan K C Venugopal told PTI, “It is up to the Congress president to take a final call and the decision is being awaited.” Congress leaders feel once the MLAs in the state have authorised Gandhi to take a decision on the chief minister, leaders should not challenge the high command and accept the decision.
Pilot, 41, is still reported not on board on Gehlot’s name, which is delaying the announcement, the sources said. The PCC chief has put up a stiff resistance and his staking his own claim for the top post.
AICC general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande told PTI,” Congress president heard everyone and after wide consultations, he will take the final decision which will be acceptable to all.”
Gandhi is likely to meet Pilot and Gehlot, 67, again at his residence in attempts to broker peace, as he did in the case of Madhya Pradesh where Kamal Nath was declared as the next chief minister amid hectic parleys held by the Congress chief with senior party leaders in the national capital Thursday night. The Congress leadership want Gehlot and Pilot to be present together at the CLP meeting.
Sources said the Congress top brass was upset with the manner in which party workers resorted to arson and violence in the state in a bid to exert pressure on the party to name Pilot. They said this the first time such incidents have been reported in Rajasthan and the party has taken the matter seriously.
The incidents of violence were reported in Jaipur, Dosa and other parts Thursday following which the Congress leadership asked both Pilot and Gehlot to issue an appeal for peace.
The party leaders feel the infighting in Rajasthan should end soon and called an amicable solution in the manner Jyotiraditya Scindia gracefully accepted the Congress’s decision in Madhya Pradesh.
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