Rajasthan minister loses poll in a jolt to new BJP govt, quits cabinet | Jaipur News

Rajasthan minister loses poll in a jolt to new BJP govt, quits cabinet | Jaipur News


JAIPUR: Rajasthan‘s BJP government suffered an “unexpected” upset on Monday, with its minister Surender Pal Singh TT facing defeat in the assembly elections from Sriganganagar’s Karanpur constituency. He resigned from the ministry later at night and and the governor accepted his resignation.
Polling had been suspended in the seat during the state elections on November 25 following the demise of sitting MLA and Congress candidate Gurmeet Singh Kooner on November 15. His son Rupinder Singh Kooner of Congress emerged victorious with a margin of 11,283 votes. With this win, Congress now holds 70 seats in the 200-member state assembly, while BJP has 115 MLAs.


TT was appointed minister of state with independent charge by CM Bhajanlal Sharma in the midst of the election campaign on December 30. The move drew criticism from Congress, which deemed it a violation of the model code of conduct, leading to a complaint registered with EC.
TT was assigned the portfolios of agricultural marketing, agricultural irrigated area development and water utility, Indira Gandhi canal, minority affairs, and Waqf. Although these responsibilities were allocated on January 5, the day of polling in Karanpur, he had not taken charge of these departments.
BJP state spokesperson Laxmikant Bhardwaj said: “The defeat is unexpected, but we accept the people’s mandate with grace. Primarily, it appears that Congress played on the sympathy wave, which worked in favour of their candidate. Secondly, our candidate contested not only against Congress but against the entire opposition.”
Kooner thanked the people, saying: “Even Union ministers had come for campaigning here, but the people rejected them and made democracy win.” BJP had deputed 16 of its MLAs to canvass in the constituency.
TT’s defeat prompted Congress to highlight the electoral outcome with the phrase: “Government can make ministers, not MLAs (sarkar mantri bana sakti hai, vidhayak nahi!).” Former CM Ashok Gehlot said the people of Karanpur defeated the “arrogance” of BJP. “People have taught a lesson to BJP, which flouted the model code of conduct and ethics by making its candidate a minister during the election.”
State Congress president Govind Singh Dotasra said the BJP government has lost the people’s faith within a month of coming to power. In a veiled attack on EC, Dotasra said: “When constitutional bodies forget their duties, the court of the people does justice.”


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