Lok Sabha polls: Kshatriya rally demands Rupala's candidacy be withdrawn

Rajputs in Rajkot held a second rally against Union minister Parshottam Rupala's following his remarks on former princely families' British ties

Union minister and BJP candidate from Rajkot Parshottam Rupala during a 'sneh milan' event in Surat on 7 April 2024 (photo: PTI)
Union minister and BJP candidate from Rajkot Parshottam Rupala during a 'sneh milan' event in Surat on 7 April 2024 (photo: PTI)


More than 1,50,000 people reportedly belonging to the Kshatriya community from across Gujarat and neighbouring states gathered in Rajkot on Sunday evening, 14 April demanding the immediate withdrawal of Union Minister Parshottam Rupala's candidature as the BJP candidate from Rajkot Lok Sabha seat.

“We are firm on our demand for withdrawal of Rupala’s candidature. We have demanded from the BJP that Rupala has to go and we stand firm on the demand,” Ramjubha Jadeja, a core committee member of the Kshatrya community, said addressing the meeting.

Union Minister Rupala is facing backlash from the community after he claimed in March that erstwhile 'maharajas' succumbed to the persecution by foreign rulers and Britishers and even married off their daughters to them.

The Union Minister has issued two apologies since the row erupted and even engaged with Kshatriya leaders to quell the unrest.

“Rupala insulted our daughters and sisters. Then he played a farce of seeking apology. But we have rejected his apology. We will continue with our protest against Rupala. BJP must withdraw him as the Lok Sabha candidate from Rajkot,” Ramjubha Jadeja said.

The 'Kshatriya Maha Semmelan' in Rajkot was the largest such gathering following previous meetings in Dhandhuka, Patan, and Himmatnagar, signalling a significant escalation in the community's protest.

A second phase of the agitation will begin on 19 April, coinciding with the last day to withdraw candidature.

Gujarat's 26 Lok Sabha seats, including Rajkot, will go to polls in a single phase on 7 May and votes will be counted on 4 June.

A leader threatened to block highways if detained post-meeting, while others suggested confrontational "treatment" if the Union Minister comes to campaign in their village. Despite these statements, the majority of speeches emphasised maintaining peace and discipline.

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