Jaipur, Sep 16 (Fresh Headline) At a time when the state is witnessing a tug of war between the old and new generation in Rajasthan with Gehlot and Pilot camps facing off, there is yet another war brewing within the Congress circle, and this time, it is between CM OSD Lokesh Sharma and state Education Minister B.D. Kalla.
The reason behind this war is quite simple. Sharma wants to contest from Bikaner West seat which is at present represented by state minister B.D. Kalla. While Sharma has openly expressed his desire for the same, Kalla (74) a six-time MLA, seems displeased over the same request.
In fact, there has been a war of words between the two leaders in recent months which is quite interesting.
While Kalla, after knowing Sharma’s desire, said: “There is no young candidate in Bikaner who can contest the polls. I will contest the election. I am the winning candidate.”
Sharma on the other hand, came up and said: “Am ready to contest, and you should become our margadarshak.”
Kalla went displeased with the statement and said Sharma being CM’s OSD is a non-political person and should resign first from his OSD profile if he wants to get into politics. Sharma on the other hand said: “I have been a political person right from 90s and have held many positions in NSUI. I will resign once I get the ticket.”
Meanwhile, all eyes are set on who will come out winner in this tug of war on Bikaner West seat as it has been making headlines for its connection with Kolayat landscam in which hearing continues. Veteran leader Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra has been in Rajasthan many times for hearing in this matter and the seat hence has connections with Gandhi family too.
Even in 2018 assembly polls, Kalla’s name was not included in the first list as there were discussions to give it to other aspiring candidate. But his followers created noise and Kalla was given the ticket.
However, Sharma, this time, has expressed his strong desire to contest the polls and eyes are all set if he will get the tickets he being in the good books of CM and senior leaders.
Speaking to Fresh Headline, Sharma said, “CM has selected me as his OSD looking at my work. He considered me ideal for this task as I have been working with him since years.”
“I have been into active politics and have been saying that I am a politician. In 1996, I contested elections in Rajasthan University and since then, have been on different posts in NSUI. As every politician has a desire to get a chance to work as a public representative, I too have the same desire and have been going to Bikaner quite frequently,” he added.
“But it seems my tours were not liked by Kalla. He should not have been affected by my tours, but he is affected, he has problems with me, because his roots have been shaken. People are connected with me emotionally. Eventually, he announced that there is no winnable young man here who can contest polls from here. So I have to come forward and say that I am ready to contest from here if you guide me.”
“Kallaji then said that I am a government servant and should resign and I replied that I am ready to do it if I get a ticket.”
Amid this war of words, Sharma has been going to Bikaner each month and connecting with people.
Sharma has has opened a front against Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
He shared an audio with leaked phone calls with the media in 2020 on July 17 during the rebellion led by Pilot against CM Gehlot’s leadership.
After nine months, Shekhawat got an FIR filed against Sharma in the Crime Branch of Delhi Police and initiated an investigation into the phone-tapping case. This FIR was registered for “illegally intercepting telephonic conversations” of MLAs and persons and circulating them to various media houses. It further mentioned the “leaked” conversations were between the complainant and an MLA.
Sharma, speaking to Fresh Headline, questioned “Why this complaint was lodged after nine months of the episode and that too in Delhi.”
“Why those involved in the case were silent for nine months and why did they go all out to Delhi to get a complaint filed when our agencies were already working on the case,” he questioned.
And now when the FIR clearly says that conversations were between the complainant and an MLA, our agencies should take action in the matter, he added.
“This audio was used as a political tool against me; I was simply doing my job. There was a video on social media and I shared it with the media so they know what is going on in the public domain. Those who were engaged in it have accepted that it was their talks so state agencies should move ahead with FIR,” he said hinting at Shekhawat.
Sharma in fact has become popular in all these months due to his frequent tweets questioning the claims of Union Ministers like Amit Shah and Anurag Thakur on issues of Kanhaiyalal’s murderer and VAT claims. He reverted to Shah’s claims that NIA arrested Kanhaiyalal’s murders and said that it was state police who did the same. Similarly, he has been leading from the front in making attacks at opposition when 11 advisors to CM and other ministers stay quiet. Further, his travels to Delhi for day to day hearing also keeps him news.
He has requested the court to either quash the complaint or else shift the case to Rajasthan on which judgement is awaited. The next hearing is on October 15 and till then, he keeps his fingers crossed but stays confident on his candidature from Bikaner.
“As of now, I am busy connecting with people of the state. Started Yuva Sanwad Programme in the state and have connected with people across 125 assembly seats. I try to motivate youth to promote govt schemes. They also like it. We are all working to repeat the government and are confident that Congress will come back due to its unique schemes,” he added.
Sharma is also leading from the front by giving befitting replies to opposition leaders on matters related to law and order, petrol and diesel issues or so on on X (formerly Twitter). Even when the CM has 11 advisors and a huge Cabinet and MoS, it is Sharma who has been fighting from the front against opposition leaders.
“The team of Central ministers are coming to Rajasthan and making claims which have hollow base and no truth and hence, I need to be prompt to make things clear,” he said with a smile, trying to hide the pain when he shared on his tough ongoing trial since last four and half years in judiciary. “My family doesn’t sleep a day before and a day after the hearing, don’t eat and stay emotionally disturbed. But I stay confident in my deeds and know that truth alone triumphs,” he said.