January 22, 2020

Rajput forums to back Congress in Rajasthan bypolls

first_imgAn announcement made by the Rajput organisations here on Sunday extending support to the Congress in the upcoming by-elections in Rajasthan has created a flutter. The possibility of a traditional and sizeable vote bank shifting to the Opposition party has unnerved the BJP.The Rajput community has been at loggerheads with the BJP government over several issues, including the police encounter of gangster Anandpal Singh, row over film Padmavat, reservation in jobs and the encounter death of history-sheeter Chatur Singh in Jaisalmer.At a meeting of the community leaders at Rajput Sabha Bhawan here, the representatives of organisations such as Shri Rajput Sabha, Karni Sena, Rawana Rajput Sangharsh Samiti, Marwar Rajput Sabha, Pratap Foundation, Bhawani Niketan and Rajput Vikas Parishad assured their “unconditional support” to the Congress candidates on the three seats going to bypolls.Disillusioned with BJPCongress candidate from the Ajmer Lok Sabha seat, Raghu Sharma, attended the meeting and sought the Rajput community’s support Jaipur District Congress president Pratap Singh Khachariawas, who was instrumental in bringing the community closer to the party, said there was a perceptible sense of disillusionment with the BJP among Rajputs.By-elections to the Mandalgarh Assembly seat and the Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha constituencies will be held on January 29. The Rajput leaders have also decided to campaign for the Congress candidates in all the three constituencies.Shri Rajput Sabha president Giriraj Singh Lotwara said the Rajput community was feeling cheated under the BJP rule. While the agreement signed with the State government in the Anandpal encounter case was violated, the demand for a CBI probe into Chatur Singh’s death was not accepted and a service tax of ₹3.50 crore was imposed on the Rajput Sabha Bhawan, he said.Karni Sena chief Lokendra Singh Kalvi said the community would support the collective decision for supporting the Congress. However, youth leader Rajendra Singh Bhiyad said the BJP government was sympathetic with the community’s demands and Rajputs should avoid following a route “scripted” by a political party.According to the Rajput leaders, the ruling BJP recommended a probe into the violence after Anandpal Singh’s encounter in an attempt to frame the community elders and was not doing enough to stop the release of Padmavati, now titled Padmawat, all over the country after banning it in Rajasthan. Besides, no progress has been made on Rajputs’ demand for inclusion in the OBC category for reservation.As the State government’s prominent Rajput face, Rural Development Minister Rajendra Rathore tried to control the damage, Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot welcomed the community’s decision.While Mr. Rathore said the social organisations should not indulge in politics, Mr. Pilot affirmed that the Congress would work for welfare of Rajputs who were feeling humiliated in the BJP regime despite their sacrifices.last_img

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