LS polls: Rajputs up in arms against Union minister Rupala, want BJP to replace him in Rajkot

The Kshatriya/Rajput community in Gujarat intensifies protests against Parshottam Rupala, warns BJP of defeat if he is not replaced

Union minister Parshottam Rupalais in trouble with Gujarat's Rajput voters (photo: @PRupala/X)
Union minister Parshottam Rupalais in trouble with Gujarat's Rajput voters (photo: @PRupala/X)


The Kshatriya community in Gujarat on Thursday intensified its protest against Union minister Parshottam Rupala for his alleged remarks on erstwhile rulers of princely states, warning that the BJP would will face defeat if he is not replaced as the party's candidate for the Rajkot Lok Sabha seat.

Key leaders of the Kshatriya (also known as Rajput) community met in state capital Ahmedabad and decided to burn Rupala's effigy across the state. A mega-gathering of the community will be held in Rajkot in the coming days as part of their protest against Rupala, they said.

Addressing a gathering in Rajkot on 22 March, Rupala had remarked that erstwhile 'maharajas' succumbed to the persecution of foreign rulers as well as the British. Rupala further said these maharajas broke bread with them and also married their daughters to them.

Though Rupala had already tendered an apology for his comments, the community's coordination committee did not accept it, saying he might speak the same language after the Lok Sabha elections.

"We reject his apology because he didn't offer it from the heart. He may speak the same language after the election. If Rupala is not removed, we will ensure that he faces defeat in the polls. We are not against the BJP and the party can give the ticket to anyone it likes after removing Rupala," Virbhadrasinh, one of the committee members, said.

The meeting of the key community leaders was held in the Gota area of the city to chalk out future plans if Rupala is not removed. "Rajputs never create trouble despite not being considered during ticket distribution. But this time, our respect and honour are at stake. We are in no mood to pardon him. He said 80 per cent Rajputs have been with the BJP for a long time. The party must remain prepared to face consequences if Rupala is not removed," he told reporters after the meeting.

Fellow Kshatriya leader Vasudevsinh Gohil said they will burn Rupala's effigy in every district if he is not removed. "We want the BJP to remove Rupala as the candidate of Rajkot Lok Sabha seat for his derogatory remarks against Rajputs. We will not settle for any compromise formula. We are also planning a maha sammelan of our community in Rajkot if the BJP does not change its candidate," Gohil said.

The entire Rajput community of Rajkot will vote against Rupala if he is retained as candidate, he said. "We are 17 per cent of the population in Gujarat. In Rajkot district alone, there are nearly three lakh Rajput voters. Moreover, other communities are also in support of us. One Rajput can fetch 10 votes of others. Thus, we are capable of changing the poll results," he said.

All 26 seats in Gujarat will go to polls on 7 May and votes will be counted on 4 June.

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