Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh quits BJP

Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh quits BJP

File picture of Rajasthan MLA Manvendra Singh who Saturday, Sep 22, 2018, announced to quit BJP at the 'Swabhimaan Rally' in Barmer district. (PTI Photo)

Ahead of the elections in Rajasthan, Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh on Saturday quit the saffron party during Swabhiman rally (fight for self-respect and dignity) at Pachpadra in Barmer district.

Manvendra Singh while addressing thousands of people from 36 communities of Rajasthan accepted that his joining BJP was a mistake, “Kamal ka phool humari badi bhool (the lotus flower was my mistake)".  Singh is presently sitting MLA from Sheo constituency in Barmer. The response received by the followers at the rally was electrifying, which even dust storm could not hamper. 

Hailing the success of Swabhiman rally, the disgruntled lawmaker said, "In Barmer, there have been many rallies in recent past - on Gaurav (pride) by BJP and Sankalp (determination) by Congress but today's rally is the biggest as it is the rally for Swabhiman (self-respect)".

Before revealing his exit from BJP to the thousands of people present at the rally, Manvendra alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called him in 2014, after his father Jaswant Singh, was denied a ticket. "PM Modi called me around 12:30 PM and told me over the phone that we have old relations and said that ticket not been given to Jaswant Singh is sad", Singh said. 

Manvendra said that PM had told him that he was not aware of the decision, "PM said that there are three people behind the conspiracy of not giving the ticket to Jaswant Singh. And out of the three one is from Jaipur and two people are from Delhi". Blaming at the central leadership, he said that he had reached out to BJP Chief and leaders in the centre but nothing has been done so far. "We have been wounded in 2014 and the wounds got deepened by the time', Singh said. 

Claiming that reach of Swabhiman rally is beyond Barmer, he said, "Here in western Rajasthan a storm has begun and will reach eastwards soon. It will show its presence in Jaipur as well". 

Earlier before his speech, his wife Chitra Singh in her address said that the purpose of Swabhiman rally is to safeguard the respect of women and fulfil the dreams of youth which Vasundhara Raje government in Raje has failed to do so. 

On joining Congress?

After announcing his decision to quit BJP, Manvendra Singh, however, did not clarify if he will join the Congress party or not. "I have quit BJP and now I will go by what people say as they will only decide the future course of action", Singh told DH. During the rally people were voicing their opinions and many urged him to join the Congress party. 

Effect on polls

Manvendra Singh's exit from BJP will have a substantial impact on upcoming assembly polls in Rajasthan. Marwar, often known as the Rajput belt of Rajasthan will now give its support to Singh as the community has been upset with the ruling party in the recent past.

The Singh family’s ties with the saffron party and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje became sour after Jaswant Singh was denied a party ticket by the BJP for the 2014 elections from his hometown of Barmer. aswant Singh contested as an independent) as against the party’s official candidate and lost.

In the same year, Manvendra was also suspended by the party’s primary membership for campaigning for his father. Manvendra Singh had earlier skipped Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's Gaurav Yatra in Barmer and Pachpadra.

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