Jaswant Singh's son quits BJP ahead of polls

Jaswant Singh's son quits BJP ahead of polls

Manvendra Singh

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

Manvendra Singh while addressing thousands of people from 36 communities from Rajasthan accepted that him joining the BJP was a mistake said: “Kamal ka phool humari badi bhool (the lotus flower was my mistake)".

Singh is presently a sitting MLA from Sheo constituency in Barmer.

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

Before revealing his exit from the BJP, Manvendra said 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 phone that we have old relations and said that the ticket not been given to Jaswant Singh is sad", Singh said.

He said that the prime minister had told him that he was not aware of the decision, "Prime minister said that there are three people behind the conspiracy of not giving ticket to Jaswant Singh. And out of the three one is from Jaipur and two people are from Delhi".

Blaming the central leadership, he said that he had reached out to the BJP chief and leaders at 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 the 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 fulfill the dreams of the youth which the Vasundhara Raje government has failed to do.

On joining Congress?

Manvendra Singh, however, did not clarify weather he will join the Congress or not.

"I have quit the 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. 

Effect on polls

Singh's exit from the BJP will have a sustantial impact on the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.

Marwar, often known as Rajasthan's Rajput belt, 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.

Jaswant Singh contested as an independent against the party’s official candidate and lost.

In the same year, Manvendra was also suspended from 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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