Panel probing reports of Manavendra campaigning for expelled leader

The BJP is likely to take “disciplinary action” against party MLA Manavendra Singh following reports that he campaigned for his father and expelled leader, Jaswant Singh, in Barmer.

While Mr. Manavendra Singh said he had only interacted with “some original BJP workers” and had not campaigned for his father, the party leadership in Jaipur did not appear satisfied with his explanation.

“We have gathered some evidence in the matter...some more documents are on the way...we will submit our report to the party president and a decision could be taken on it tomorrow [Sunday],” State vice-president Omkar Singh Lakhawat told The Hindu. He, along with MP Bhupendra Yadav, was on a committee constituted by the State BJP to go into the issue.

Sources in Barmer, however, said there was a good chance the party would not expel or suspend Mr. Manavendra Singh, for fear of the action generating a wave in favour of Mr. Jaswant Singh in the constituency, where he is contesting as Independent. The MLA would be let off with a warning, the sources said.

The party is also miffed at another development, in the sand dunes of the Barmer-Jaisalmer border region: reports of a Pakistani spiritual leader issuing a proclamation in favour of Mr. Jaswant Singh.

Mr. Lakhawat said the BJP would not accept a Pakistani religious leader meddling in the Indian electoral exercise and would complain to the Election Commission.

“We will seek a probe into the matter by intelligence agencies,” he told journalists in Barmer on Friday.

Rajasthan has Muslims following several different cults. While the Shekhawati region has Qayamkhani Muslims, Mevat is home to Meo Muslims.