Jaipur: In a caste-ridden electoral politics, the BJP scored over the Congress in roping in the Gujjar community leader Col (rtd) Kirori Singh Bainsla, who led the Gujjar community’s protest movement for reservation in government jobs and in educational institutes.
Bainsla’s son Vijay Bainsla also joined the party at a ceremony held in Delhi. Union minister Prakash Javdekar, who is the party’s incharge for Rajasthan, was present during the ceremony. Kirori Singh in 2007 led the Gujjar protest under the BJP regime and 27 persons were killed in the agitation that jeopardized the rail movement from Delhi to Mumbai for over a fortnight.
Earlier, the Congress suffered a setback in the state as the BJP has forged an alliance with Hanuman Beniwal’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) in a bid to woo the Jat community in the state. Bainsla in 2009 contested as the BJP candidate the Lok Sabha election from Tonk-Sawaimadhopur but lost the election to the Congress candidate Namo Narayan Meena by a small margin.
The Gujjar leader’s re-entry into the BJP is also viewed as a tactical defeat of the Pradesh Congress president and the deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who is also a Gujjar. Pilot was trying to rope in Bainsla to the Congress fold as this would have given the Congress an added impetus and the sizeable Gujjar community would have voted for the Congress. But Bainsla’s joining the BJP will divide the Gujjar votes.
“I have seen rarest of rare qualities in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that’s why I am joining the BJP,” Bainsla said. Bainsla said that he has been close to Chief Ministers of both the BJP and the Congress, and had seen their ideologies. “After seeing two parties closely, I am joining the BJP,” he said.