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Rajputs convene in Rajkot, draws crowd of over 1 lakh

Women leader, national leaders of Kshatriya community assembled at the 'Asmita Maha Sammelan' in Rajkot

Updated: Apr 15th, 2024

Suburbs of Rajkot witnessed a huge crowd of Kshatriyas staying firm on their earlier demand of Parshottam Rupala’s candidature cancellation after his derogatory remarks on the entire community.

At around 4.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. on Apr 14, Kshatriyas showed up at ‘Asmita Maha-Sammelan’ organised at Ratanpar, 15 km away from Rajkot city. Kshatriya men in white attire and saffron-saree-clad Kshatriya women gathered in an estimated number of over 2 lakh. 

Heavy traffic congestion occurred along the Rajkot-Morbi Highway as crowds from Rajkot and beyond, including various parts of Saurashtra, flooded the venue.

Kshatriya women and other leaders gave strong speeches from the dias and emphasised their demand to cancel Rupala's ticket, or the BJP would see wide opposition through the Kshatriya community through votes.

The BJP, which is on the receiving end of the current, may face a major blow in Gujarat as the Kshatriyas gave an ultimatum till Apr 19 to remove Rupala from Rajkot's Lok Sabha seat.

“It is time to count heads and not cut them,” reportedly said Kshatriya leaders, suggesting a tight opposition to the BJP from the community.

Ramjubha, a Kshatriya leader, said that this protest did not have any political agenda or organised fight; the community only wanted the withdrawal of Rupala's tickets, who spoke ill of Kshatriya women.

Kshatriya women took stage

Women leaders, including the president of the coordination committee of Rajput organisations Truptiba Raol and Mahila Karni Sena’s Padminiba Vala, who went on a hunger strike to protest against Rupala, took the stage and gave dynamic speeches.

Rajput Karni Sena national president Mahipal Singh Makrana and Raj Shekhawat were also present at the convention.

“Police are on me, but I am not running anywhere. If Rupala's ticket is cancelled, we all have to boycott the BJP,” said Makrana.

The community’s Bhagirath Singh also emphasised that if the BJP does not decide on Rupala's withdrawal by Apr 16, the fire of opposition against the BJP will reach across India.

Kshatriyas will appoint conveners from each constituency, taluka, and village to resume the protest across Gujarat.

“They took our kingdoms, did not give tickets, took our weapons, and still we kept quiet. But this time someone has commented on the women of the community,” said Karni Sena’s Virbhadra Singh.

“Instead of convincing the entire community, the BJP should convince their one politician,” he added.

Other communities join forces

The convention did not only draw leaders from the Kshatriya community but also saw keen participation of other leaders of Junagadh’s Khat Kshatriya community, Dalit, tribal, and Muslim communities.

Inayat Khan Rathore, hailing from the former princely state of Vanod, spoke at the convention. Representing the Gujarat Mole Salam Garasiya Sanghathan, an association of Muslim Rajputs from Gujarat, Kathi Darbar leaders, and a handful of Dalit and Adivasi leaders also addressed the gathering.

The huge convention of Kshatriyas happened ahead of prime minister Narendra Modi’s expected arrival on Apr 22 in Gujarat.

Hinged on a critical phase, the BJP is yet to react to the community’s ultimatum to withdraw Rupala's ticket until Apr 19.

Notably, the uproar stems from union minister and Rajkot Lok Sabha candidate Parshottam Rupala, who claimed in March that erstwhile ‘maharajas’ succumbed to the persecution by foreign rulers and Britishers and even married off their daughters to them (roti-beti).

Also read:

Congress names all 26 Lok Sabha candidates from Gujarat, Dhanani to face Rupala

PM to the rescue? Modi likely to visit Rajkot on Apr 22