Bainsla’s ticket a reward from Raje, says GehlotApr 25th, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Rajasthan
JAIPUR: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has questioned the propriety of the Bharatiya Janata Party providing a Lok Sabha ticket to Kirori Singh Bainsla who spearheaded the violent Gujjar agitation in Rajasthan. Apprehensions of a collusion between the then Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Col. Bainsla in planning and executing the agitation have come true with his nomination for the Tonk-Sawai Madhopur seat, he said.
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Kirori Singh Bainsla seen after signing the accord to end Gujjars’ agitation last year.
“I condemn BJP’s nomination of Col. Bainsla. His fighting elections on BJP ticket means division among the communities and more violence,” said Mr. Gehlot.
“The Gujjar agitation led by Col. Bainsla had led to the killing of 70 Gujjars in police firing and extensive damage to public property. The agitation adversely affected the State’s and the region’s economy. Now the BJP has rewarded and recognised him with a ticket!” he said.
“In my opinion, both then Chief Minister and Col. Bainsla were hand-in-glove in the agitation which brought great disrepute to Rajasthan which is otherwise perceived as a peaceful State,” Mr. Gehlot said in an unusual diatribe against Ms. Raje, now the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.
“This person who caused so much bloodshed and created such misunderstanding between Gujjars and Meenas has been rewarded with a ticket. This is bound to vitiate the whole atmosphere in the State once again,” he warned.
“Col. Bainsla had repeatedly said in the past that he had nothing to do with politics and that he would not enter politics. Now all of a sudden he joins a political party to fight elections. There is a clear-cut strategy visible in this development,” Mr. Gehlot charged.
‘Voters will reject him’
As for the impact of Col. Bainsla on Congress prospects in Tonk-Sawai Madhopur — where Union Minister Namonarain Meena is the Congress candidate — and elsewhere in the Gujjar belt, Mr. Gehlot said people would reject him. “The Gujjars are yet to forget the misery and the loss of life due to the agitation. Our efforts would be to facilitate Gujjars and Meenas to live together in peace once again,” he said.
“I hope the general voters would reject Col. Bainsla in Tonk-Sawai Madhopur and the Congress candidate would win from there with a thumping majority,” he said.
Mr. Gehlot was equally critical of the BJP allowing re-entry of its former rebel Prahlad Gunjal into the party. “His return to the BJP is a reflection of the desperation of Ms. Raje over the situation in Jhalawar where her son is seeking re-election. Till the other day both Ms. Raje and Mr. Gunjal were exchanging abuses against each other. She can now see only one seat in Rajasthan and that is Jhalawar. The rest of the 24 seats are irrelevant for her,” added Mr. Gehlot.
In the Jhalawar Lok Sabha constituency from where Urmila Jain of the Congress is fighting against Dushyant Singh, Gujjars form a good number of the electorate.