This eunuch in Uttarakhand is making political parties see blue

Dehradun : This eunuch gave jitters not only to the Congress and the BJP when she contested for the post of mayor of the Dehradun Municipal Corporation in 2008, but a majority of Doonites went red at the very thought of having a eunuch for a mayor.

Now she is making the political parties see blue as a contestant from the Raipur vidhan sabha segment for the Uttarakhand 2012 assembly elections.

Rajni Rawat

And not without reason for she is a vote catcher. In the Mayoral elections she secured over 44,200 votes, just short of 15,000 votes from Vinod Chamoli who eventually won and pushing the Congress candidate to the third place.

And if the large turn out that accompanied her procession, led by dozens of dancing eunuchs, was any indication this transgender is equally popular with the males as also the females.

Rajni Rawat not only intends winning, but playing spoil sport to both the BJP and Congress candidates, as she plans to contest not only from Raipur from where she filed her nomination papers on Wednesday as an independent, but also from the adjoining Doiwala and Dharampur assembly segments also.

Incidentally, former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal is the BJP candidate and former transport minister Hira Singh Bist is the Congress candidate from Doiwala, weheras Dinesh Aggarwal, keen to make a hat trick of wins is the Congress candidate from Dharampur.

Whose goose she will cook, only time will tell, but going what she has revealed while filing her nominations, Rajni is no lame duck. She has Rs 25,000 in cash and Rs 53.56 lakhs in the banks and drives a Rs 27 lakh limousine.

She has moveable assets worth Rs 91 lakhs, jewelry worth Rs 11 lakhs, a house worth Rs 25 lakhs and a loan of Rs 27.50 lakhs.

Political observers here recall that had some of the elite of the town had not joined hands at the thought of having a eunuch as the city mayor, Rajni would have probably won.

“It was because of this fear that the so-called elite of the town forget their political affiliations and pooled their resources together in support of Vinod Chamoli of the BJP, as it was considered he was in a stronger position compared to Surat Singh Negi of the Congress”, they pointed out.

They said that encouraged by the overwhelming response she got in the Mayoral elections, Rajni declared that she would contest the Lok Sabha election in 2009 from the Tehri Garhwal parliamentary constituency.

The Congress had Vijay Bahuguna, son of the veteran son-of-the-soil, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna as its candidate and fears were that is the eunuch contested, it could be curtains for Vijay Bahuguna.

“Though there are allegations and some even swear that money changed hands to make Rajni withdraw from the contest she withdrew and thereby made it that much easier for Bahuguna to win.

But she promises that she will not withdraw this time and should she win, she will neither join the Congress or the BJP legislature party, but raise her voice for the underprivileged and downtrodden in the House so that the government also delivers to them.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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