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JAIPUR: One curious development that accompanied the signing of the agreement between the Congress Government in Rajasthan and the Gujjar agitators demanding reservation in jobs under special category has been the Gujjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla quitting the Bharatiya Janata Party. The turnaround, which has taken place when there are elections scheduled for four seats from the State in next month's biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha, has left many tongues wagging.
That Col. Bainsla was the creation of the previous BJP Government had been an oft-heard allegation from the Congress when it was in the Opposition. In the wake of the current agitation, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot also mentioned the proximity of the retired Colonel to the BJP and the chances of his being propelled by none other than the former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The Congress leadership had enough reason to suspect the motive of Col. Bainsla as he unsuccessfully fought the 2009 Lok Sabha election from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur seat against Union Minister of State Namonarain Meena. His nomination as a special invitee to the BJP national executive by the new party president Nitin Gadkari too proved a handicap in leading a non-political agitation.
And Col. Bainsla seemed to have chosen to put the community before his political ambitions when this past Monday, addressing a “mahapanchayat” of Gujjars in Bharatpur district, he announced his decision to quit politics.
Col. Bainsla's close associates said the announcement was duly followed up by a written resignation from the primary membership of the BJP and from all the positions he held. Though BJP State president Arun Chaturvedi was not available for comment on the latest position — earlier he had maintained that the party was yet to receive any formal intimation — other party leaders felt that Col. Bainsla had done it to facilitate the agreement though it meant some embarrassment to the party's national leadership.
“Col. Bainsla has tendered a written resignation from all the posts he was holding. Now it is up to the BJP high command to accept it,” said Roop Singh, a close associate of the Gujjar leader, talking to The Hindu on Friday.
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