Nation Current Affairs 17 Oct 2018 As Manvendra Singh j ...

As Manvendra Singh joins Congress, party hopes to get Rajput votes in Rajasthan polls

PTI
Published Oct 17, 2018, 6:28 pm IST
Updated Oct 17, 2018, 6:28 pm IST
The Congress believes Manvendra Singh will help bring Rajput votes to the party in the December 7 Rajasthan elections, party leaders said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi welcomed Manvendra Singh into the party fold at his residence in the morning. (Photo: Twitter | @INCIndia)
 Congress president Rahul Gandhi welcomed Manvendra Singh into the party fold at his residence in the morning. (Photo: Twitter | @INCIndia)

New Delhi/Jaipur: Rajasthan BJP MLA Manvendra Singh, the son of former BJP stalwart Jaswant Singh, joined the Congress on Wednesday ahead of assembly elections in the state in December.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi welcomed Manvendra Singh into the party fold at his residence in the morning.

 

It has been a fight for self respect, Manvendra Singh said while addressing the media later in the day in the presence of Rajasthan Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, Avinash Pande, Jitendra Singh and Randeep Surjewala.

"It has been a fight for 'swabhimaan' (self respect). The decision to quit the BJP was not my own but that of our entire 'Swabhimaan Sena'," he said, referring to his supporters who have been targeted by the BJP and have also quit the party.

BJP's Katol MLA in Maharashtra Ashish Deshmukh also joined the Congress on Wednesday. He is the son of Ranjeet Deshmukh, a former president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee and former Maharashtra minister.

 

The Congress believes Manvendra Singh will help bring Rajput votes to the party in the December 7 Rajasthan elections, party leaders said.

Manvendra had campaigned for his father Jaswant Singh, a former Union minister who had contested the 2014 general elections as an independent. He was suspended from primary membership of the BJP.

AICC general secretary Gehlot said only two people -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah -- are ruling in the country and leaders in the BJP were feeling suffocated.

 Alleging that there was a sense of fear and intimidation in the "rule of tyranny", Gehlot said the Modi government's veil was coming off with exposes on corruption, particularly in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

 

"Today, every person in the country is frightened and there is an atmosphere of distrust and agencies like Income Tax department, ED and CBI are being abused," Gehlot alleged.

He cited "the way" Jaswant Singh was targeted as part of a "conspiracy" and claimed there was a long line of people who want to quit the BJP and join the Congress. "Rahul Gandhi will have to take a call on whether to make them join or not," he said. Welcoming Manvendra Singh, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Pilot said, "It is a lesson for the BJP and time for them to introspect".

 

"The arrogance in the BJP under Vasundhara Raje has crossed all limits and people are looking at alternatives and that is why they are tying with the Congress," Pilot said. "We believe this has strengthened the Congress party in Rajasthan," he said, adding that this will help defeat the Raje-led government.

All communities, he said, will unite and fight against the BJP and the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan. "We will win and form a people's government," he said.

Congress general secretary in-charge of Rajasthan Avinash Pande said, "We welcome Manvendra Singh to Congress family. Everyone who believes in democracy and constitution knows that both are under threat today."

 

Reacting to Manvendra Singh joining the Congress, senior BJP leader Rao Rajendra Singh said in Jaipur that no leader is bigger than the party. “Individuals are not bigger than the party. BJP does not have a character where people consider them bigger than the party and think that they run them,” Rajendra Singh said at a press conference. The party firmly believes that Manvendra Singh leaving the party will not affect the morale of the workers who will continue to work for the party's victory in the elections.

In September, Manvendra Singh had announced that he would quit the party, saying "Kamal Ka Phool, Badi Bhool" (Big mistake to join the party with a lotus symbol). He took out a 'Swabhiman Rally' along with his supporters in Barmer's Pachpadra area for a mission of self-respect that he said began with the 2014 general election.

 

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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