Kirori Lal Meena rejoins BJP after 10 years, is named Rajya Sabha candidate

The NPP convener in Rajasthan termed the 10 years that he remained away from BJP as his ‘vanvas’ and said his return to the saffron party was akin to ghar-wapasi

jaipur Updated: Mar 11, 2018 22:55 IST
Ghar wapasi,NPP,exile
Chief minister Vasundhara Raje welcomes NPP MLA Kirori Lal Meena into BJP.(Prabhakar Sharma/ HT Photo)

Terming the 10 years that he remained away from BJP as his ‘vanvas (exile)’, National People’s Party state chief and MLA Kirori Lal Meena, who returned to the saffron party Sunday said it was an unconditional ‘ghar wapasi’ (homecoming) for him. Meena said even in ‘vanvas’, his ideology remained in sync with the BJP.

Hours later, BJP announced his name along with Madanlal Saini and Bhupendra Yadav as its three candidates in Rajasthan for the elections to the Rajya Sabha. The announcement comes a day ahead of the last day for filing nominations and hours after Meena, a five-term legislator, emphatically claimed that he wanted to work in the state.

Meena along with wife and Rajgarh-Laxmangarh MLAs Golma Devi, and Sikrai (Dausa) MLA Geeta Verma, joined the ruling party at BJP headquarters in presence of chief minister Vasundhra Raje. A large number of NPP workers also joined BJP. However, a fourth NPP MLA, Navin Pilania, did not join the BJP and kept away from the development.

“I want to work in Rajasthan. I or my supporters are not hankering for any post in the organization or in the government,” Meena said addressing the media. Meena also claimed that he was not interested in being sent to the Parliament and in a lighter vein, appealed to Raje and state BJP chief Ashok Parnami “to not separate me and my wife Golma,” as even if he was sent to the Rajya Sabha, he “would not be spending much time in Delhi.”

“There was some misunderstanding 10 years ago... It is as if my ‘vanvas’ (exile) has come to an end today. I am like a bird that ventures out to sea but returns to the ship. I am very happy to return to my old home unconditionally,” said Meena.

Meena said that he would tour the state, meet party workers, and stop the Congress from coming to power. “After winning the bypolls, Congress has started dreaming about forming government in Rajasthan and has even started distributing portfolios. I will ensure that this dream never comes true.”

Hitting out at the Congress, he claimed that former chief minister Ashok Gehlot had targeted him during an agitation in Udaipur. Meena said that he has led 380 agitations in the state and 103 “politically motivated” cases were registered against him.

Meena also recalled his journey as a RSS worker how former Rajasthan chief minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat had convinced him to contest Assembly elections in 1980. “My background is of RSS ideology. After having worked for the RSS, I joined the BJP and never looked back,” Meena said.

Welcoming Meena into the party fold, Raje said her “brother has returned home”

“We had parted ways due to some reasons but now you have returned and together we will ensure party’s win in the coming elections,” she said.

Golma Devi and Geeta Devi, in their address, exhorted the party workers to work hard and ensure BJP’s success in the elections.

Parnami, meanwhile, read out the letter written by Meena in which he had proposed the merger of NPP with BJP.

Earlier, Meena was welcomed to the party office amid slogans of “Rajasthan ka ek hi lal, Kirodi Lal, Kirodi Lal.”

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 22:55 IST