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Manvendra Singh

Manvendra a ‘parachute candidate’, electorate will send him back: Dushyant Singh

Jhalawar (Rajasthan) | Calling Manvendra Singh a “turncoat”, BJP’S Jhalawar MP Dushyant Singh said Sunday the Congress candidate from Jhalrapatan has been “parachuted” to the constituency and the electorate will send him back to where he belongs.

Dushyant Singh is spearheading his mother and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s campaign in the Jhalrapatan assembly seat against Manvendra Singh as she has been travelling across the state to lead the BJP’s electoral battle in Rajasthan and retain the mandate to rule the state.

In an interview to PTI, Dushyant Singh said Raje has worked really hard in the constituency and the development work done by her has been “phenomenal”. In the last 30 years, transformational change has taken place in Jhalawar and Baran, Dushyant Singh said. “For her (Raje), the electorate is her family and the family is actually campaigning for her, it is not Mrs Raje,” he said.

The Jhalawar MP said that in contrast to his mother’s development works here, Manvendra Singh has come from 700-800 km away from Jhalawar.  “He has been parachuted by the Congress president (Rahul Gandhi). When the Congress president was here a few months back, he had said on stage, in Jhalawar specially, that he will not field any parachute candidates in Rajasthan. “But he has put a paratrooper here . So our family, the electorate, is ensuring that we send him back to where he belongs,” the 45-year-old leader said.

Manvendra Singh, son of former BJP leader Jaswant Singh, was pitted against Raje just weeks after crossing over from the BJP to the Congress. He had contested and won from the Sheo assembly seat of his family stronghold Barmer in 2013.

Asked if the “outsider” tag for Manvendra Singh was a poll issue, Dushyant Singh said: “His (Manvendra Singh’s) family has moved from district to district, so it is part of his culture. “Like his father was previously in Chittor, then he moved from there to Jodhpur, from Jodhpur he moved to Darjeeling, then Mr Manvendra Singh was in Barmer, from Barmer he has come to Jhalawar. So it is a perpetual tag of moving,” he said. They have not been constantly at one particular place and not been part of developing the place, the BJP leader alleged.

In contrast, the chief minister and the entire party cadre in the district and in the Hadoti belt have worked in this area, he asserted. “We should overcome…with flying colours and send Mr Manvendra Singh back to Jasol where he belongs to,” he said.

On talk of Manvendra Singh’s father not having been given his due in the saffron party, Dushyant Singh said he was given respect and a top position in the government. Manvendra Singh is a “turncoat” and an “opportunist”, he alleged.

Asked if Manvendra Singh would be at an advantage as he was stationed here while Raje was touring outside her constituency as the CM, Dushyant Singh cited the example of Congress candidate Rama Pilot and said she was also stationed here with her son during 2003 polls, but they have never come back.

“He (Manvendra Singh) will be stationed here. People will tell him… Results will be out on (December) 11th, and he will also head back to where he belongs to,” said the MP from Jhalawar, which comprises eight assembly segments, including Jhalrapatan.

On whether Rajput votes could split with both candidates being from the community, Dushyant Singh said: “My grandmother was a Kshatriya, my mother is a Rajput. My mother believes in all communities, unlike her opponent. All 36 communities are voting for the chief minister.”

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