Disgruntled With Party, BJP’s Manvendra Singh to Hold Show of Strength

Barmer/Jodhpur: Disgruntled BJP MLA Manvendra Singh said Friday he will take a decision on his political future after a public meeting being seen by many as a show of strength.

His swabhiman (self-respect) rally on September 22 comes amid speculation that former Union minister Jaswant Singh’s son may snap his relations altogether with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

But the MLA from Sheo constituency in Barmer is reluctant to talk about it.

The rally is all about ‘swabhiman’ of all those who are with us. It is not a meeting of one caste or community and it will be attended by people from ‘chhattees quom’ (all communities), the Rajput leader said, using a term which translates literally as 36 communities.

Based on the outcome of the rally, I will take my political decision, he told PTI.

Singh is travelling around in western Rajasthan, mobilising support for the rally which will be held near the upcoming oil refinery in Barmer.

His wife Chitra Singh is also campaigning for the rally, speaking against Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

The family’s relations with Raje worsened after BJP stalwart Jaswant Singh was denied the party ticket from Barmer-Jaisalmer Lok Sabha constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Jaswant Singh then contested as an independent but lost amid the Narendra Modi wave in the state.

The MLA was suspended from the party for campaigning for his father, instead of the BJP’s official candidate Sonaram – who had switched over from the Congress.

But Manvendra Singh continued to represent the Sheo Assembly constituency as a BJP MLA.

He said he was informed in 2016 by the then BJP state unit president Ashok Parnami that his suspension had been revoked.

Many in the Rajput community blamed Raje for denial of the party ticket to Jaswant Singh. His son has been trying to rally the community around him, raising the issue of their ‘swabhiman’.

BJP state president Madan Lal Saini said the party has approached Manvendra Singh for a discussion.

The party’s Barmer unit president Jalam Singh Rawlot said the planned rally is a “social meeting” and no political impact is expected.

He claimed there is no resentment among the Rajputs against the BJP.

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