Barmer, Sept 22: Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and son of former Union Minister Jaswant Singh, Manvendra Singh, announced his decision to quit the BJP ahead of the upcoming Rajasthan assembly elections 2018.
While addressing a 'Swabhiman Rally' in Barmer's Pachpadra on Saturday, Manvendra said it was a mistake to join hands with a party which has "no respect" for the people of Barmer. What opinion polls predict for Rajasthan assembly elections?
The 54-year-old, however, refrained from specifying whether he would join the Congress or contest in the upcoming polls as an independent candidate. He currently represents the Shiv constituency in the Rajasthan legislative assembly.
Manvendra had hinted a rebellion back in 2014, when he marked his dissent against the party for denying Lok Sabha ticket to his father Jaswant. The party had instead fielded Colonel (Retd) Sonaram Choudhary, who emerged victorious.
His dissent intensified in the last couple of months as he refrained from joining the gaurav yatra of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in Barmer, despite being the local legislator.
"In the past 5 years, entire Barmer region has been disrespected by this government. What was the gaurav yatra for? What pride should we have in this government? It is time to fight for our self respect," Manvendra said at the rally today.
Manvendra's rebellion is likely to hurt the prospects of the BJP in the upcoming polls. The party has already seen a desertion of a few leaders and their cadres for reposing faith in Vasundhara Raje. Senior party leader Ashok Choudhary had resigned earlier in the year after BJP chief Amit Shah denied his plea to sack Raje as the CM.