Rajput leaders of BJP urge community to support party

They pleaded to the community to show “large heart” and forgive Union Minister and BJP candidate Parshottam Rupala for his utterances and “support and vote for the BJP” for the “larger national cause” 

May 06, 2024 12:04 am | Updated 12:04 am IST - AHMEDABAD

Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a roadshow for the Lok Sabha elections, in Gandhinagar. File

Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds a roadshow for the Lok Sabha elections, in Gandhinagar. File | Photo Credit: ANI

Two days before the voting in 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat is scheduled for May 7, Rajput leaders of the BJP have pleaded to the community to show a “large heart” and forgive the Union Minister and BJP candidate Parshottam Rupala for his utterances and “support and vote for the BJP” in the parliamentary polls for the “larger national cause.” 

Sitting and former ministers and legislators have in their appeal urged the community members that their support is needed for the BJP for the “national interest.” 

Also Read | The disgruntled Rajputs of Gujarat

At an election campaign meeting in March, Mr. Rupala remarked that erstwhile ‘maharajas’ (Kshatriya kings) had succumbed to foreign rulers like the British and forged family bonds with them. His comment set off protests by Kshatriya community members, who urged the BJP to withdraw the candidature of Mr. Rupala.

“Even BJP’s Kshatriya leaders and workers were hurt by Mr. Rupala’s remarks. In view of that, Mr. Rupala has apologised more than once. He has also urged the community to not punish Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his mistakes,” read the statement issued by the Gujarat BJP bearing signature of half a dozen leaders. 

Watch | Rajput agitation at Rajkot 

It has been signed by former ministers Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, I.K. Jadeja, Pradipsinh Jadeja, and Jaydrathsinh Parmar, and Labour and Employment Minister Balvantsinh Rajput.

The statement also bears the signatures of Rajkot royal family scion Mandhatasinh Jadeja, MLAs Kiritsinh Rana, C.K. Raulji and Arunsinh  Rana and Rajya Sabha MP Kesridevsinh Zala.

The Kshatriya leaders said when India is on its path to becoming the world’s third largest economy, it is everyone’s duty to support Mr. Modi during the Lok Sabha polls.

Rejects appeal

However, immediately after the statement by the State BJP, the Rajput community’s core committee, which is organising protests, has rejected the appeal for support and reiterated the community’s position against Mr. Rupala and the BJP. 

“We had asked the BJP to reconsider Mr. Rupala’s candidature. The party has failed in that so no question of supporting this time,” said Karansinh Chavda, the core committee member. The core committee is coordinating with more than 75 different caste and community groups from across the State which have been protesting for more than a month against the ruling party. 

He added that Rajputs have decided that they will not support the BJP at the hustings. 

Meanwhile, protests by the community continued in several parts of the State on Sunday. 

In Jamnagar, in massive gatherings on Saturday, thousands of Rajput community members have vowed to vote against the ruling party. 

The meeting was organised after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally on May 2 where he had also called on the scion of the former royal family of Jamnagar before he addressed the meeting. 

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