Congress eyes Rajput votes in Rajasthan as Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra joins party

Manvendra Singh, the son of former Union Minister and BJP stalwart Jaswant Singh, on Wednesday joined the Congress ahead of Assembly elections in Rajasthan.

An MLA from Sheo in Barmer, Manvendra had quit the BJP on September 22 at a public rally with the phrase: “Kamal Ka Phool, Hamaari Bhool”.

Manvendra met Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday morning and was formally inducted into the party in the presence of Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot, party leaders Ashok Gehlot and Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The rift between Manvendra’s father Jaswant Singh and BJP widened when the party refused to field him in 2014 from Barmer in Rajasthan. Later Jaswant Singh contested as an independent and lost to the BJP candidate.

After the induction of Manvendra in to the party, the Congress is hoping to encash the Rajput votes, which accounts to about 50 of the state’s 200 seats.