Amid protests against Rupala, Gujarat BJP chief meets Kshatriya leaders

Parshottam Rupala
Parshottam Rupala

Surat | Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil on Thursday held a meeting with leaders of the Kshatriya community amid protests against Union minister and the party's Rajkot Lok Sabha candidate Parshottam Rupala.

Paatil said Kshatriyas of south Gujarat fully support Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.

The meeting was attended by community leaders from different parts of Navsari Lok Sabha constituency, of which Paatil is sitting MP.

Addressing the media, Paatil said it was natural for the Rajputs to get offended by Rupala's comments.

"Today, 108 Rajput youths have come here. They had also attended the community's mega gathering in Rajkot on April 14. They have said their anger is against Rupala and not PM Modi because his contribution to the country and Gujarat cannot be forgotten," Paatil said.

"They have come here to reaffirm their massive love for Modiji. Kshatriyas are known for bravery and forgiveness. I urge them to support each and every BJP candidate. I ask them to forgive Rupala," Paatil added.

"For the Kshatriya community, 'rashtra dharm (duty towards the country)' also comes first. We have always supported Paatil and will continue to do so. We don't have any issues with the BJP government. We are against Rupala for his comments and we will continue to protest," said Shailendrasinh, a Rajput leader from Chikhli taluka of Navsari district.

He said the community has always been with BJP and Paatil because Rupala is not the whole BJP.

Rupala is facing the ire of Rajputs after claiming at a rally that rulers from the community collaborated with the British and other foreign invaders and kept "roti aur beti" (trade and marriage) relations with them.

Voting for 25 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will take place on May 7 in a single phase.

Paatil's meeting came a day after Kshatriya community leaders associated with an umbrella organisation named 'Rajput Coordination Committee' announced they would organise four `mahasammelans' or mega gatherings ahead of the May 7 polls to protest the BJP's decision to not cancel the candidature of Rupala.

Earlier, committee spokesperson Karansinh Chavda had claimed the aim was to defeat the BJP in at least 10 seats. These are Rajkot, Surendranagar, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Kutch, Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, Mehsana and Bharuch.

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