JAIPUR: Manvendra Singh, the BJP MLA from Barmer district’s Sheo constituency, will join the Congress on Wednesday.
Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot welcomed Manvendra, the son of former External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, and confirmed his entry into the Congress. He is currently in Delhi to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi, where he will be given the membership of the party.
“Manvendra Singh will join the Congress on Wednesday. There is a long queue of BJP leaders, who are unhappy with Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje and are leaving the party. The BJP will have to introspect that those who served it for decades are unsatisfied and leaving,” the PCC chief said.
Manvendra had quit the BJP on September 22 at the Swabhiman rally in Barmer district. This was after the Vasundhara Raje regime sidelined him for the past four years, after his father Jaswant was denied a BJP ticket in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Sources in the party said Manvendra will visit Rahul’s residence, where some prominent Rajput faces like Jitendra Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh will be present. Former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and PCC chief Sachin Pilot will be there too. Later, Manvendra is likely to hold a big public meeting in Jodhpur.
Muslims and Dalits are considered Congress vote banks in Marwar region. Manvendra’s presence in the Congress may influence voters in over seven seats of Barmer and Jaisalmer.
One section of the Congress, led by Harish Choudhary, had been arguing that Manvendra’s entry could see the Jats distance themselves from Congress. But, others argued that even the last time, the Jats didn’t vote for the party.
One obstacle will be Rahul’s announcement that ‘parachuters’ will first have to serve the party for five years before they get poll tickets. “Rahul Gandhiji is clear about it . Who will fight on Congress ticket will be decided in the upcoming days as the process is on. Whatever happens,will be for the best and will be done after discussing with everybody. Right now enthusiasm that is seen in party workers is a good sign for us,” Pilot said.