IAS officer Tarachand Meena (L) fielded by the INC and former RTO Mannalal Rawat (R) representing the BJP and are vying for the coveted Udaipur ST seat.
IAS officer Tarachand Meena (L) fielded by the INC and former RTO Mannalal Rawat (R) representing the BJP and are vying for the coveted Udaipur ST seat.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Clash of Titans as Former Government Officers Vie for Udaipur ST Seat

The battle between Meena and Rawat represents not only a fight between two political rivals but also a showdown between two individuals who have dedicated themselves to public service and community welfare.

Udaipur- The Udaipur parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha General Elections- 2024 has witnessed a significant development as the picture becomes clearer with the finalization of candidates.

Despite the opportunity for withdrawal of nominations until 3 pm on April 8th, no candidate opted to withdraw their nomination. Consequently, the final list of candidates has been released, and election symbols have been allotted to each candidate. A total of eight candidates are now contesting in the electoral fray for the Udaipur Lok Sabha (ST reserved) seat.

Despite the presence of eight candidates in the Udaipur parliamentary constituency, the primary focus of attention and the most significant battle is anticipated to unfold between the arch-rival political parties, the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

What adds an extra layer of intrigue and interest to this electoral contest is the fact that the candidates representing these two major parties are both former government officers with extensive administrative experience and substantial community support.

Mannalal Rawat, representing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Tarachand Meena, fielded by the Indian National Congress, are vying for the coveted seat in the Lok Sabha General Elections- 2024.

The clash between Meena and Rawat represents not only a battle between two political rivals but also a showdown between two individuals who have dedicated themselves to public service and community welfare. Their respective administrative backgrounds, coupled with their community support, make this electoral contest particularly intriguing and captivating for observers and voters alike.

IAS officer Tarachand Meena (L) fielded by the INC and former RTO Mannalal Rawat (R) representing the BJP and are vying for the coveted Udaipur ST seat.
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From Civil Servant to Author to Politician: Dr. Mannalal Rawat (BJP)

Mannalal Rawat emerges as a significant figure in the political landscape of Udaipur, especially after being appointed as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) candidate for the Udaipur Lok Sabha seat.

Rawat's selection is notable given the cancellation of the ticket of sitting MP Arjun Lal Meena, who had secured victories in both the 2014 and 2019 elections.

As a former RTO officer with a deep academic interest in tribal issues, including a PhD in the subject, Rawat brings a unique blend of administrative acumen and scholarly insights to the electoral arena.

His extensive research and understanding of tribalism, as evidenced by his authored books and research papers, equip him with a nuanced understanding of the socio-political dynamics at play in Udaipur's tribal areas.

Rawat's roots in the influential Katara tribe, coupled with his upbringing in a small town in Pratapgarh, further enhance his appeal among tribal communities.

His authorship of books on Sanatan Dharma, separatist forces, and the role of tribalism in India's freedom struggle underscores his intellectual engagement with tribal issues.

When his ticket was announced, he was serving as the Additional Commissioner of the Rajasthan Transport Department in Jaipur, Rawat's track record indicates a commitment to public service and administrative efficiency.

Despite his prior focus on government duties rather than public appearances, Rawat has managed to cultivate a significant presence within the tribal society and tribal areas of Udaipur.

With his nomination, Rawat has articulated a vision focused on the development of tourism, education, and tribal areas, signaling his commitment to addressing key issues facing the constituency. His emphasis on these priorities aligns with the broader agenda of fostering development and progress within Udaipur.

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From Civil Servant to Political Stalwart - Tarachand Meena (INC)

Tarachand Meena, a former collector with an illustrious career as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, brings a wealth of administrative experience to his candidacy.

Having served as the Tribal Commissioner of Udaipur, Meena's tenure was marked by notable initiatives, including Mission Kotra, which aimed at fostering development in remote tribal villages. His contributions were recognized with prestigious awards such as the Skoch award, emphasizing his commitment to grassroots development.

Meena's association with former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has bolstered his candidacy, earning him the reputation of being Gehlot's "favourite officer."

His decision to enter politics came after being on an APO (Awaiting Posting Orders) since January 5, following the change in government. Meena's application for VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme) on January 12 set the stage for his transition into the political arena, with his notice period slated to conclude in June 2024.

During his tenure under the Ashok Gehlot government, Meena held pivotal positions, serving as the collector of Chittorgarh before being appointed as the collector of Udaipur. His role as the Tribal Affairs Department (TAD) Commissioner, coupled with additional responsibilities as the Director of Mines and MDRSMM, showcased his versatility and leadership acumen within the state bureaucracy.

Meena received accolades, including the CM Excellence Award in April 2023, marking his track record of exemplary service and dedication to public welfare. His entry into politics was anticipated, given his remarkable tenure and the Gehlot government's inclination to leverage his expertise in governance for broader political objectives.

Other candidates in the fray:

  • Dalpatram Garasiya of the Bahujan Samaj Party: Elephant symbol

  • Prakashchandra of the Bharat Adivasi Party: Hockey symbol

  • Rajendra Kumar of the Indian People's Green Party: Pot symbol

  • Independent candidate Kanji Damor: Tiller (cultivation) symbol

  • Independent candidate Prabhu Lal: Cot symbol

  • Independent candidate Dr. Savita Kumari Ahari: Gas cylinder symbol

Udaipur Lok Sabha Seat

The Udaipur Lok Sabha seat in Rajasthan holds a significant historical and political legacy. In 2009, it transitioned from being a general seat to one reserved for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.

Balwant Singh Mehta, a freedom fighter and member of the drafting committee of the Indian Constitution represented Udaipur constituency in the 1st Loksabha in 1952.

Comprising constituencies like Gogunda, Jhadol, Khairwada, Udaipur Rural, Udaipur, Salumber, Dhariyavad, and Aspur, it stands as a stronghold of tribal communities within the parliamentary constituency.

Over the years, the Udaipur seat has witnessed a dynamic political landscape, with both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress making strong electoral forays.

Notable political figures, including Kiran Maheshwari and Gulab Chand Kataria from the BJP, as well as Girija Vyas and former Chief Minister Mohanlal Sukhadia from the Congress, have left indelible marks on the Udaipur Lok Sabha seat. Their contributions have shaped the political trajectory of the constituency, reflecting the diverse ideologies and leadership styles represented within its boundaries.

Despite the absence of a single-party dominance, the BJP's Arjun Lal Meena has consecutively held the seat for the last two terms (2014 & 2019), showcasing the party's growing influence in the region.

IAS officer Tarachand Meena (L) fielded by the INC and former RTO Mannalal Rawat (R) representing the BJP and are vying for the coveted Udaipur ST seat.
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