Manvendra Singh quits BJP, will contest Lok Sabha 2019 polls from Barmer

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Weeks ahead of the Assembly polls in Rajasthan, former Union minister Jaswant Singhs son and BJP MLA Manvendra Singh Saturday announced he has quit the party. The MLA from Sheo said he has no plan to join the Congress as of now. He said he will meet his supporters and will take a decision based on what the people wanted. At the public meeting, dubbed `swabhiman (self-respect) rally, he had referred to the partys lotus symbol and said associating with it had been a When contacted by PTI after the rally, the MLA said, He said Narendra Modi, now prime minister and the then Gujarat Chief Minister, had called him up saying he was not present at the meeting where that decision was taken. Manvendra Singh said Modi had then asked him to remain patient. He said those who had supported the family in 2014 had faced hardships, and this had now become an issue of self-respect. Singh said two people from Delhi and one from Jaipur were responsible for his father not getting the partys nomination in 2014. The MLA said he had told the prime minister and party chief Amit Shah about the situation in the state. He referred to the police encounters in which alleged criminals Anandpal and Chatur Singh were killed, leading to resentment in their Rajput community. Singh concluded his address by chanting, His supporters shouted His wife Chitra Singh called upon the people to vote out the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan the coming assembly elections. A large number of his supporters from Marwar region were present at the meeting. After denial of the party nomination in 2014, Jaswant Singh contested the elections as an independent candidate. But he lost the seat to BJPs Sonaram, who had switched over from Congress and was backed by Vasundhara Raje. The decision of not allowing Jaswant Singh to contest had antagonised people in the Rajput community who held Raje responsible.