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BJP axes Jaswant son

Jaipur/New Delhi, April 10 (PTI): The BJP today suspended Manvendra Singh, son of expelled leader Jaswant Singh, from the party’s primary membership and removed him from its national executive following reports that he was campaigning for his father in Barmer.

Jaswant, a former Union minister, had been expelled for contesting as an Independent from Barmer after being denied the BJP ticket. The party has fielded Sonaram Choudhury, who had recently defected from the Congress.

Manvendra, MLA from Sheo which falls within the Barmer seat, has been campaigning for his father and refraining from attending party meetings in favour of Sonaram.

He was earlier said to have requested a month’s leave from electioneering, claiming he was “stressed out” and had been advised rest. However, reports quoted several people in Sheo as claiming that Manvendra had come asking for votes for his father.

The state BJP president Ashok Parnami had written to the party’s central leadership seeking action against him. According to the party’s constitution, the state unit cannot initiate disciplinary action against a leader who is a member of the national executive.

BJP president Rajnath Singh decided to remove Manvendra from the national executive. The decision to suspend Manvendra was taken by the state BJP, which said his actions amount to “gross anti-party activities”.

Jaswant termed the suspension a “revenge” action against his son.

“This kind of step has been taken with the intention of taking revenge. This is condemnable because he (Manvendra) is here for so many days and I never used to meet him fearing what the party will think about it. Injustice has been done surely,” he said.