Two cousins are fighting it out as the candidates of rivals Congress and BJP on Rajasthan’s Bikaner Lok Sabha seat. Both the candidates have served the government as civil servants in the past, while the elder one is at present a Union Minister. The younger cousin has made a debut in politics after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian Police Service.Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal is contesting as the BJP candidate for the third time, while his cousin Madan Gopal Meghwal is a Congress candidate for the first time. Mr. Arjun Ram had entered politics in 2009 after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service and won the Bikaner Lok Sabha seat.Mr. Madan Gopal, who left IPS before the 2018 Assembly election and unsuccessfully tried for a Congress ticket from Bikaner’s Khajuwala seat, has received support from an unexpected quarter in the Lok Sabha poll. Veteran Rajput leader of the BJP, Devi Singh Bhati, who has quit the party in protest against the ticket being given to Mr. Arjun Ram, has extended his support to the Congress.BJP State president Madan Lal Saini accepted Mr. Bhati’s resignation on Friday. Mr. Bhati, a seven-time MLA from Kolayat, had alleged that Mr. Arjun Ram’s political activities had harmed the party and led to its defeat in the Assembly election.While Mr. Madan Gopal affirms that he respects Mr. Arjun Ram as his elder cousin despite differences in their political ideologies, Mr. Bhati’s supporters have disrupted the latter’s public meetings several times during the ongoing election campaign. On Thursday, Mr. Bhati’s supporters showed black flags and raised slogans at a meeting, after which they reportedly clashed with the BJP workers in Bikaner city.The Bikaner seat has been a stronghold of the BJP since 2004, when film actor Dharmendra won it on the party’s ticket. It was reserved for the Scheduled Castes in the 2009 delimitation exercise, after which the caste equations changed and the Dalits and the OBCs shifted towards the Congress.The upper castes, which are in a sizeable number in the constituency, are reportedly unhappy with Mr. Arjun Ram following his support to the April 2, 2018, agitation of Dalits against the Supreme Court’s ruling on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Mr. Arjun Ram was accused of inciting violence in Bikaner district during the protest.