Jaipur: Veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra has decided to join the Congress in a significant political development ahead of the assembly elections in Rajasthan.
The move came after MLA Manvendra Singh announced to quit the BJP in his ‘Swabhiman Rally’ held in Barmer last month where he had said “Kamal ka phool, badi bhool”.
“Manvendra Singh is joining the Congress in New Delhi tomorrow,” Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee President Sachin Pilot told PTI.
He is likely to join the Congress along with his wife Chitra Singh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that the decision will not have any impact on the party’s prospects in western Rajasthan.
“It is a politically wrong decision of Manvendra Singh which will have no impact on the BJP. Rajput votes have been with the BJP and will remain with us,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore told reporters.
Polling in Rajasthan will be held on December 7.
Manvendra Singh won as a BJP candidate from the Sheo assembly constituency of Barmer district in 2013 assembly polls.
His father Jaswant Singh was denied ticket by the party in 2014 Lok Sabha elections following which he (Jaswant Singh) contested elections as an independent candidate and lost the seat to BJP’s Sonaram, who had joined the party from the Congress and was backed by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The decision of not allowing JaswantSingh to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha polls antagonised the Rajput community that held Raje responsible for neglecting Jaswant Singh for an “outsider” Sonaram.
There was resentment among his supporters who rallied after Manvendra Singh making it an issue of their ‘swabhiman’.