Rajput groups threaten to intensify agitation against Rupala’s candidature | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Rajput groups threaten to intensify agitation against Rupala’s candidature

Apr 15, 2024 10:34 AM IST

Rupala kicked up a storm when he suggested erstwhile maharajas arranged marriages for their daughters with foreign rulers

Rajput groups have threatened to intensify their agitation across all 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in Gujarat and other parts of the country if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not withdraw Union minister Parshottam Rupala as its candidate from Rajkot.

Posters have come up against Rupala’s candidature across Gujarat. (X)
Posters have come up against Rupala’s candidature across Gujarat. (X)

“If the BJP does not withdraw Rupala’s candidature by April 19, we will take our protest to other parts of India,” said Rajput Sankalan Samiti chairman Karansinh Chavda.

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The Samiti organised a “Rajput self-respect convention” in Rajkot on Sunday as part of efforts to seek Rupala’s removal even as the BJP has announced that he will file his nomination on April 16. April 19 is the last date for filing nominations, which can be withdrawn until April 22.

Rupala, a Patidar, kicked up a storm on March 22 when he suggested erstwhile maharajas succumbed to the oppression of foreign rulers, including the British, and dined with and arranged marriages for their daughters with them. The comments triggered protests and prompted calls for withdrawing Rupala’s candidature. Rupala apologised twice but the Rajput groups have refused to accept the apology.

Posters have come up against Rupala’s candidature across Gujarat, where voting for all 26 seats will be held on May 7. Rajput leaders have announced they will field hundreds of candidates to ensure the BJP’s defeat.

Trupti Ba, Rajput Sankalan Samiti’s Gujarat chief, said men should not remain silent over the disrespect Rupala showed to women. “If there is a dispute in the BJP, the entire ministry and chief minister can change overnight. But if any party leader makes derogatory comments against Kshatriya [Rajput] women, then why the party is so keen to keep him? This is going to be a long fight. We must maintain the courage for struggle,” she said.

A BJP functionary, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some leaders with vested interest were fuelling the protests. He maintained the protests would have little impact on the party’s prospects. The functionary said the BJP was poised to maintain its winning streak and bag all 26 seats. The BJP won all Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat in the 2014 and 2019 elections.

Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said Rupala’s remarks against the Kshatriya community were hurtful and should not be used against anyone. “We are confident that the Patidars, Kshatriyas, and all other communities will unite to defeat Rupala....”

The Congress has fielded former Opposition leader Paresh Dhanani, a Patidar, against Rupala.

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