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Seat shuffle protests mount

Jaipur, Feb. 14: After the Congress, it is the BJP’s turn to protest against proposals for delimitation of Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in Rajasthan.

Recently inducted as Union minister of state for women and child development, Jaskaur Meena has taken exception to the proposals. “It looks as if some bureaucrats have prepared them on the table without going into the ground realities,” she said.

Meena represents Sawai Madhopur, a seat reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, in the Lok Sabha. If the national delimitation committee, headed by Justice Kuldeep Singh, accepts the new recommendations, the constituency would be reserved for Scheduled Castes.

The minister, who is on the Rajasthan committee, said she was not consulted when the recommendations were being drawn up. Factors like transport facilities and geographical and topographical conditions should have been considered to ensure that voters could reach their representatives easily, Meena said.

Yesterday, senior members of the Congress coordination committee, including general secretary Ambika Soni, Pranab Mukherjee and Natwar Singh, had disapproved of the recommendations. Like Meena, the Congress’ Girija Vjas, Buta Singh and Natwar Singh will have to look for new seats if the recommendations are accepted.

BJP sources said the party was building its case against the delimitation proposals and had assigned division-wise responsibilities to senior leaders to come up with arguments and suggestions that could be placed at next week’s committee meeting.

Accordingly, Meena was given charge of the Jaipur division, party spokesman Manik Chand Surana was handed Bikaner, MP Rasa Singh Rawat was made responsible for Ajmer division and MP Jaswant Singh Vishnoi for Jodhpur. The leader of the Opposition, Gulab Chand Kataria, and veteran Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi will handle Udaipur and Kota divisions respectively.

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