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Rajasthan BJP MLA calls Rajput meet today, invites dissidents

Bhawani Singh Rajawat had recently accused the Vasundhara Raje government of neglecting Rajputs

jaipur Updated: Jun 02, 2018 21:29 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times, Kota
Rajasthan polls,Rajasthan assembly election,Caste equation
A hoarding of the Rajput meeting called by BJP MLA in Kota.(HT Photo)

Ladpura BJP MLA Bhawani Singh Rajawat, who recently accused the Vasundhara Raje government of neglecting Rajputs, has called a meeting in Kota on Sunday to discuss what he called the “political future of Rajput community”.

At a meet in Kota last month, Rajawat said the BJP government has failed to serve Rajputs. He also accused Raje’s son Dushyant Singh, the Member of Parliament from Jhalawar, of ignoring the community.

Rajawat, convener of the Kota meet, has invited dissident BJP legislators and political leaders from the Rajput community.

Union minister of state for agriculture and farmers welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, whose name was opposed by the Raje-led faction for the Rajasthan BJP president post, has been invited as the chief guest. BJP MLAs Narpat Singh Rajvi, Diya Kumari and Rao Rajendra Singh have also been given the invitation.

Rajvi, the son-in-law of former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, is considered a dissident leader. Rajendra Singh and Diya Kumari have seen up and downs in relations with Raje over the recent years. Singh was made the assembly deputy speaker after he was denied a cabinet berth. The relations of Kumari, a member of the former Jaipur royal family, with Raje soured over the Jai Mahal Palace dispute.

Asked about the objective of the meet, Rajawat said, “It is a meet to show unity of the Rajput community. Many big leaders of the community have been invited. Let’s see who attends the meet.”

Randhir Singh Bhindar, an independent MLA from Bhindar who was denied a BJP ticket in the last two assembly polls, is likely to attend the meet. BJP MLAs Prem Singh Bajor and Hariom Singh Rathore, who are supporters of Raje, have also been given publicity material to give the impression that the meet is a Rajput event.

“It is not a meeting of dissident BJP leaders,” Rajawat said. Political analysts see the meet as a show of strength of dissident leaders to put pressure on Raje and her faction.

The grapevine has it that Rajawat, an MLA of three consecutive terms, may be denied a BJP ticket for assembly polls because of his criticism of Raje. Analysts say Rajawat wants to put pressure on the state BJP leadership through the Rajput leaders’ meet.

Rajputs, who constitute about 10% of the state’s population and hold sway on 35-40 assembly seats, have been at loggerheads with the BJP since last year. The community is unhappy with the state government and the BJP over the encounter killing of gangster Anandpal Singh, ‘Padmaavat’ film row and standoff between Raje and former Jaipur royal family.

First Published: Jun 02, 2018 21:29 IST