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Oust heat on Jaswant son

Jaipur, April 3: The BJP is mulling a possible expulsion for MLA Manvendra Singh on the charge of campaigning for his father Jaswant Singh, a senior party leader said today.

Jaswant, a former Union minister, has been expelled for contesting as an Independent from Barmer after being overlooked in favour of Sonaram Choudhury, who had defected from the Congress days earlier.

“We have received pictures and videos of (Manvendra) canvassing in Barmer for his father instead of the official candidate, Sonaram Choudhary,” state BJP vice-president Omkar Singh Lakhawat said.

“We are examining them and will soon take action at the state level. We will then send the report to the central leadership.”

Lakhawat said the party had many options such as issuing a show-cause notice or even expulsion, which could cost Manvendra his House seat.

“I haven’t heard anything about expulsion till now and I can’t comment on it. I have just been holding meetings with BJP workers, and that’s it,” Manvendra, 49, told The Telegraph.

Manvendra, MLA from Sheo which falls within the Barmer parliamentary seat, had earlier been said to have requested a month’s leave from electioneering, claiming he was “stressed out” and had been advised rest.

Reports have quoted several people in Sheo, such as a group of tea vendors in Harsani, as claiming that Manvendra had come asking for votes for his father. The MLA has also been seen meeting party workers at the family home in Barmer.

His wife Chitra Singh is Jaswant’s lead campaigner.

Earlier, asked about the possible repercussions of his actions on his son’s political career, Jaswant had told this newspaper: “Manvendra Singh won this Lok Sabha seat in 2004 by a record margin of 2.72 lakh votes.”

The 76-year-old had added: “My son’s political career is his own destiny and written on his forehead. It will definitely be bright. As a father, how can I even think of harming my son’s prospects?”

Manvendra has been active in the Barmer Lok Sabha constituency since 1999. After drubbing Sonaram in the 2004 general election, he lost in 2009 to the Congress’s Harish Choudhary.

Last December, he got elected from Sheo Assembly constituency, defeating the Congress’s Amin Khan by 31,425 votes.

Like his father, Manvendra had been in the defence forces. He later worked as a journalist for a while, writing on defence and security matters.