In a massive set back to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Rajasthan ahead of Assembly elections, BJP co-founder and former cabinet minister Jaswant Singh's son Manvendra Singh on Saturday quit the party, saying that “choosing the Lotus flower (election symbol of the BJP) was a mistake”.
The BJP lawmaker made the announcement during his Swabhiman rally in Rajasthan's Barmer. Earlier, he had announced a rally to "fight for self-respect" of voters.
"There have been many rallies on Gaurav (pride) and Sankalp (determination) but today's rally is the biggest - it is the rally for Swabhiman (self-respect), said Manvendra, adding that "swabhiman is our right and we are committed to it."
Manvendra had been at loggerheads with the state BJP leadership ever since his father was denied the during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Raising the issue again, Manvendra claimed that in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called him after his father was denied the ticket.
During the meeting, he claimed, Modi told him that "we have old relations and whatever has happened about the Barmer ticket is very sad."
"The Prime Minister said somebody in Jaipur and two people from Delhi are behind this conspiracy," the lawmaker from Barmer’s Sheo said.
The rebel BJP leader also challenged Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and said that "a storm is brewing here and it's headed eastwards...it's a storm that will reach Jaipur."