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BJP MLA Manvendra Singh joins Congress ahead of Rajasthan assembly elections

BJP MLA Manvendra Singh met Congress president Rahul Gandhi before joining the party on Wednesday. He is the son of former Union minister Jaswant Singh.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2018 23:49 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
manvendra singh joins congress,BJP MLA Manvendra Singh joins congress,jaswant singh
Rahul Gandhi with BJP MLA Manvendra Singh who joined the Congress in New Delhi, Wednesday, Oct 17, 2018. (PTI)

Ahead of election in Rajasthan, veteran BJP leader Jaswant Singh’s son and MLA Manvendra Singh joined Congress on Wednesday at Congress president chief Rahul Gandhi’s residence.

Manvendra Singh and BJP MLA from Maharashtra Ashish Deshmukh joined Congress at Gandhi’s residence in the presence of party senior leaders.

“I met Gandhi, he welcomed me in the Congress family, and expressed faith that my support will be there in coming election and ahead. Even I have faith that supporter with us who stood by in difficult times and maintained their respect – the ‘swabhimani sena’ which is coming with us in the Congress will support the party in coming assembly and the Lok Sabha elections to bring a historical results in Rajasthan,” said Manvendra Singh, addressing the newspersons at AICC office, Delhi.

Manvendra quit BJP on September 22 at a public rally with the phrase ‘Kamal Ka Phool, Hamari Bhool.’

He joined Congress, in presence of Gehlot, Pilot, state incharge Avinash Pande, leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi, AICC secretaries, MP Raghu Sharma and ex-MP Harish Choudhary etc.

On asking was there any preconditions for joining Congress, he said, “People who know me personally, they will tell that I do not do saudagiri (deal). There have been no condition.”

“I have left BJP because of some personal and public reasons. The situation there in Rajasthan, and especially the government who is troubling our supporters (swabhiman sena). The decision was not mine but taken collectively during a meeting to protect our respect,” he said.

Regarding his stand on Rafale deal and is the issue affecting others in BJP, he said, “People in BJP, who I see with respect on top is Manohar Pariker and on Rafale, I just want to say that I believe his illness is due to Rafale’s file.”

AICC general secretary and ex-CM Ashok Gehlot said, “Today the situation in the country is such that two people are ruling, they are governing in an autocratic and egoistic manner. The way Jaswant Singh was denied ticket from Barmer, who has been finance, defense and foreign minister in late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee government – I am sure the portfolio were given after all considerations and thought. I believe, Jaswant was a Prime Minister material – his ticket was cut without any reason. He was targeted…it was the conspiracy of BJP, which today Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are affected – the entire country knows there situation.” He continue the situation there in BJP, the workers too are unhappy and are lining up and requesting to join Congress – this will be decided by AICC Chief that in which way they can be given entry or not.

Reacting to Manvendra’s entry into Congress, deputy speaker of the assembly Rao Rajendra Singh said it was unfortunate that he had left but no individual was bigger than the party.

First Published: Oct 17, 2018 15:28 IST