After ‘Betrayal’, Gujarat’s Karadiya Rajputs Vow to Teach BJP a Lesson in Polls

After ‘Betrayal’, Gujarat’s Karadiya Rajputs Vow to Teach BJP a Lesson in Polls

Gujarat: Karadiya Rajputs may become a cause for worry for the BJP ahead of Lok Sabha elections in Saurashtra region of Gujarat with the community reportedly upset with saffron party leaders for reneging on promises made ahead of the 2019 assembly elections.

Karadiya Rajputs, who belong to the OBC category, had mobilised support for the BJP in Gujarat ahead of state polls after community member Dansinh Mori, former Sarpanch of Budhel village near Bhavnagar, was suspended and harassed, allegedly at the behest of state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani over local village Panchayat land issues.

Karadiya Rajputs had staged state-wide protests which were called off after the intervention of BJP chief Amit Shah, former CM Anandiben Patel and Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala, a Karadiya leader in Saurashtra.

“During the meeting with Amit Shah and other BJP leaders, we were given assurance that police cases lodged against me will be withdrawn. We called off the protests and supported the BJP in assembly polls but now, even after two years of that assurance, no cases have been withdrawn and fresh cases have been filed against me and my family members. The harassment continues. So, community members have decided to launch massive protests afresh to teach the BJP a lesion,” 45-year-old Dansinh Mori told TheWireOdisha.

Karadiya Rajputs have traditionally aligned with the BJP and can be a decisive factor in Bhavnagar and Junagadh Lok Sabha constituencies.

“Community leaders are meeting in Bhavnagar next week to decide future course of action against the BJP. We will announce the date for the protest rally next week,” Mori said.

Interestingly, after Vajubhai Vala was made Karnataka Governor in 2014, Karadiya Rajputs have been struggling to get political space ahead of the 2019 polls. Vala was the senior-most BJP leader in Gujarat and had held the important finance portfolio from 1998 to 2012.

Vala was a one of the strongest contenders for the post of Chief Minister in Gujarat after Narendra Modi moved to Delhi in 2014. However, Vala was made Governor of Karnataka and Anandiben Patel was made Gujarat CM.

After Vala’s exit from Gujarat politics, Karadiyas have been facing political extinction as none of its community members were elected to the state assembly in 2017.

In fact, Karadiya Rajput candidates who contested 2017 polls on BJP tickets lost to their rival candidates. Former minister Jasabhai Barad lost from Somnath seat while Govindbhai Parmar lost to the Congress candidate from Talala.

“Though Karadiya Rajput leaders had struck a compromise with BJP leaders ahead of 2017 polls, the youngsters were not kept in the loop. They were angry against the community leaders and the BJP rubbed salt onto their wounds by reneging on the promises. This forced community leaders to renew protests against the BJP leadership,” a senior community leader told reporters.

“BJP leaders, including Amit Shah, had promised us that cases lodged against Mori will be withdrawn, but now they have backed out and they are not even taking our calls. We have spent years in building the BJP in Gujarat but now we are being neglected. We are meeting next week to decide our future course of action,” Kanbha Gohil, president of Akhil Gujarat Rajput Samaj, told to the wire odisha.

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