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Emergence of a new Rajput force in Jaipur!
Editor-In-Chief of First India, Jagdeesh Chandra, in The New JC Show, speaks about how the massive Rally by Shri Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh has been a milestone in reviving Rajput Society’s honour.
He aptly analyses major takeaways from the rally like how GS Shekhawat has emerged as ‘New Leader of Rajputs’ ; the need to address ‘Raje factor’ to form government, what entry of Gehlot’s ‘Hanuman,’ Dharmendra Rathore means, how absence of Gehlot, Raje & Pilot created buzz among relevant circles & more
How do you see the huge rally of Rajput Society held in Jaipur on December 22 and the underlying message?
Jagdeesh Chandra: There are three major takeaways or messages from this rally. The first message is that its an emergence of powerful Rajput force in Jaipur. Secondly, the Rajput community has also claimed stake in partnership of power.
They have ensured that, whether it is Congress or BJP, they can’t ignore it under the Jat pressure. The third message has been of public perception, where Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has replaced or substituted Vasundhara Raje.
But this analysis can’t be termed final untill Raje was also present on same stage. But this is also a fact that as far as rally is concerned, Shekhawat has emerged as the ‘New Leader of Rajputs.’
How do you see Shri Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh’s journey from Tan Singh to the coronation of Laxman Singh that day?
The journey has been great. Late Tan Singhji while his stay at a hostel in Pilani, had dreamt about the idea of setting up Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh, which has turned into reality.
Lakhs of youth, men and Kshtranis attended the massive rally, which appeared to be no lesser than a Tsumani.
First, it was Tan Singhji, followed by Ayuwan Singhji, then for 20 years Narayan Singhji, then for 32 years Bhagwan Singhji headed the Sangh and now he has handed over the reins of the organisation to Laxman Singhji.
It has been long and the final outcome is that Rajput Community’s honour, power & authority has increased to manifolds.
Do you also believe that Rajput Society was marginalised during the last few years and if so, how far will this rally of 3-4 lakh be successful for its revival or come back?
There is no doubt that for the past sometime, Rajput Community was marginalised.
There was a time, when Community had 44 MLAs & their stature had reduced in past 3 years, when Society’s leadership didn’t end up in the hands of a powerful leader like it was with Vasundhara Raje.
So a vaccum was created, but this rally has been a major step in revival of Society’s honour.
Who is the mastermind behind organising this rally? Have some strategists also joined the Sangh now?
This question came to my mind as well since Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh and those associated with it, are non-political entities.
They are grassroots people, stay away from limelight and their strategy is only of brotherhood in community, cultural upbringing, love for the nation and Manav-dharm.
But according to me, there are two faces - Gajendra Singh Shekhwat and Rajendra Rathore behind this initiative and there could be people from the Sangh also.
But I personally believe that Rathore has a greater role to play since he is a full- time politician and has a strong presence in BJP government.
But on face value, it appears that idea could have been of both Shekhawat & Rathore, but I feel Rathore has been significantly involved and real beneficiary is Gajendra S Shekhawat.
What message does the presence of about 20,000 women give in this rally?
Their presence was like a breath of fresh air. Women clad in Saffron, reached the rally venue, which was a different experience altogether.
Generally, women in such huge numbers do not assemble for any rally, and if they do, they are not as upbeat as these women were.
How will you compare the massive Inflation rally held in Jaipur in the presence of Rahul & Priyanka recently and this Kshatriya Rally? Has this rally carved a niche in the history of rallies in Jaipur?
There is no doubt that this rally has actually carved a niche, but it can’t be compared with the Congress rally primarily because that was a political rally, and this was a non-political event.
This rally’s agenda was to respect all religions and communities, to save Dalits and to safeguard humanitarian values.
There are reports that many people were stuck outside due to traffic jam & couldn’t reach venue so yes, this rally has indeed carved a niche and surpassing this, would perhaps be impossible.
Excited by the amazing success of this rally, can SKYS organise such rallies in some more big cities in days to come?
They can and why shouldn’t they? Its a democracy. The rally was so disciplined & well-managed, and if more such rallies are organised by them then this move of theirs’ is indeed welcome, but law & order & decency should be maintained similar to that in Jaipur.
I believe that it can organise such rallies in major cities, especially at Divisional Headquarters in days to come.
Inspired by this rally, which has re-established dominance of Rajput Society, can Jat or Brahmin Societies or even SC-STs demonstrate their power through such rallies in near future?
Definitely. This is an motivational aspect especially based on community lines and non- political. Jats can organise a major rally, they are resourceful.
Then Brahmins can also organise such an event and there are talks of one such event in near future. Recently the Meena Community also held a rally at Birla Auditorium.
If such an environment of competition of power among different societies is created, what will be its political, social and administrative consequences?
There is no problem, if the rallies are disciplined, but if they cause disharmony or unfair competition between communities or religions, then it will be unfortunate.
I also believe that the leadership of Jats, Brahmins, SC/STs and other communities is in the hands of the learned and mature individuals, so such a situation, where the government has to interfere, shouldn’t arise. Therefore, the inter-community disharmony shouldn’t occur in Rajasthan.
Best thing about the rally was that all the Speakers spoke about character & nation building, Dalit protection and respect for all religions. What’s your take?
Its a great beginning in today’s era, when people try to extract benefit by linking religion to politics. In such a situation, a community has come forward to talk about character & nation building, Dalit protection and respect for all religions, about Hindu-Muslim unity and this effort should be appreciated.
Pratap Singh Khachariawas is very excited about his 12 minute speech given in the rally. What was so special about his speech?
His address was extremely mature and he said that all religions should be honoured. He spoke on secular lines and stressed that the Rajputs will even sacrifice themselves for safeguarding the Dalits. His speech was quite impressive, which also went viral and was appreciated in Delhi too.
Pratap Singh is a firebrand leader, who keeps on raising issues and fortunately, he got a platform to share his thoughts and as a result, his positioning in the ‘Gehlot Darbar’ has gained a few notches.
What is the meaning of entry of Gehlot’s ‘Hanuman,’ Dharmendra Rathore, in this rally and will his role in Rajput politics of Congress increase in near future?
Dharmendra Rathore is an asset in Gehlot’s political journey. There are people, whose works are somehow not completed, perhaps from rival camps, Dharmendra Rathore acts as a link between them.
However, the important point is that he will fight for the work which he can be convinced of that is in the best interest of CM Gehlot.
Interestingly, while there are many ‘Darbaris’ and loyalists in Gehlot’s Darbar, but there are only handful of people, who can take decisions and Rathore is one of them.
He acts as a bridge between government and Opposition too. His latest contribution has been Congress’ entry to a platform that has so far been labelled as BJP supporting.
Rathore played a major role in EWS reservation category also as he became the link between Gehlot and Rajput Community. He may now be accorded a position of Chairman of any Board.
Despite being a politician, entire speech of Gajendra Singh was non-political, what is the political meaning of it?
His address was non-political and mature, which was appreciated in Jaipur and elsewhere. When Khachariyawas and Rathore raised the issue of EWS reservation and relaxation by Centre, Shekhawat, folded his hands, and outrightly said that he doesn’t want to use a Community’s platform for political issues adding that such has been his grooming in SKYS.
While he not only sidelined the matter, but also showed mature handling of developments, which was appreciated.
In the rally, only two BJP leaders GS Shekhawat and Rajendra Rathore and Congress’ PSK and Dharmendra Rathore were given a chance to speak, while Congress’ Mahesh Joshi, Bhanwar Singh Bhati, Rajendra Gudha and BJP’s Rajyavardhan Rathore, Satish Poonia didn’t get a chance to speak. Diya Kumari and Arun Chaturvedi were also present there. Bhati and Gudha left in middle of the rally. How would you explain this?
I don’t think that there was any hidden design of the Sangh. I have frequently reiterated that after Vaibhav Gehlot, if there is anyone who can be considered as Gehlot’s political successor, it is Mahesh Joshi. But its not fair that two Rajput leaders, Diya Kumari and Rajyavardhan Rathore weren’t given a chance to address the rally.
As for Satish Poonia, he played his role. Since beginning, be it Jan Sangh, Swatantra Party or BJP, the Rajput community’s preferance has always been to lean towards the Right & Poonia is State BJP Chief.
He was invited to the rally and accorded space on dias. But people say Jat voters will get miffed by him saying that he attended the Rajput Community’s function, but I don’t see that to be the case.
Absence of CM Ashok Gehlot & former CM Vasundhara Raje, former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot was discussed in the rally. Were they not invited?
Rajendra Rathore said that if we had call the CM or former CM or former deputy CM then, it would have been a ceremonial event, wherein, they would have come, addressed the gathering and left and the stage would have been hijacked.
While some others were of the opinion that in such a case, the focus would have shifted from community.
Although CM Gehlot and Madam Raje weren’t invited, they gave their best wishes and their messages were read and well received by people.
However, I say that Madam should have been invited since she has been associated with them for over 10 years.
It is true that Pilot wasn’t invited, but he had gone to the Sangh office and met Bhagwan Singhji which means, his presence was registered.
Do you think Raje has been replaced by Gajendra Singh in Rajput Samaj in state BJP politics in this rally?
Comparison is inevitable, when two leaders share the same stage. The message that has floated in BJP and Congress, which even Govind Singh Dotasra said that now ‘Shekhawat’ and not ‘Raje’ is the new leader of Rajputs.
Look at the perception that has been created that an individual like Dotasra is commenting on the same. So, the fact will come out only when a rally is organised, when ‘Raje’ factor is solved and both these leaders carry out their political rallies. Who is High Command’s nominee? is a million dollar question.
As of today its not ‘Raje’ but ‘Shekhwat.’ There are differences between people in politics and we had carried out news that Shekhawat was to be made State Chief in Rajasthan and Raje after learning about this, perhaps on the motivation of her supporters like Yunus Khan & Ashok Parnami etc, drew sword over the name and after a delay of two months, Madan Lal Saini was named the State Chief.
Perhaps, that is why, Shekhawat feels he could not get to a better position as he is five times more powerful today. Then the issues of co-orperative societies and legal issues came to the fore.
Then Ashok Gehlot’s regime came and Shekhawat grew close to High Command and is now being projected as an alternate to ‘Raje.’ But will it help him reach 8 Civil Lines, remains to be seen.
There is a general perception in the BJP and Congress circles that this rally was done to project the old swayamsevak of the Sangh and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Do you think so too?
It is sort of a ‘homecoming’ for Shekhawat since his father has been associated with the organisation. When he visited Rajasthan after becoming a Minister, he didn’t go anywhere, but went straight to the Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh Headquarters after which he went to BJP office etc.
As far as projection is concerned, when a school organises a function, it wants its students to be projected, so there was no strategy behind this event. Shekhawat was and continues to be BJP’s strong CM candidate even before the rally.
Will the percentage of Rajput candidates increase in ticket distribution for 2023 Vidhan Sabha and 2024 Lok Sabha elections?
Definitely, as both are interlinked. When an atmosphere is created that the Rajput community should be given what is rightfully theirs based on merit, then both the parties namely the Congress and the BJP will perhaps increase their respective ‘Quota.’
Today the Rajput Society is politically divided, but the caste and proud culture of the Kshatriya Sangh stands like a rock behind it. Do you think so too?
As far as political line is considered, all communities are divided between BJP, Congress and other parties. That is not a new phenomenon.
The old banner of Sangh has come out with a new vigour and through this move, its influence will increase greatly and those associated with it will also have a significant influence.
Mahavir Singh, a senior functionary of the Kshatriya Sangh, has said that there were 57 Rajput MLAs out of 160 in the first assembly of the state, but today their number has been reduced to 17 in the Assembly of 200. What does his statement mean?
It seems to be their disappointment regarding the Community. And even though they are non-political, they can put forward this aspect also since it pertains to the Community.
There was a time when they were 44 MLAs also. The statement clearly indicates that when the next ticket distribution happens, the quota of Rajput community should increase.
BJP State President Satish Poonia was invited to the, rally but no invitation was sent to Congress State President Govind Singh Dotasra, how do you see it?
Poonia and Mahesh Joshi were invited, so Dotasra too would have been invited. But sometimes, such loopholes occur while organising such mammoth events. Sometimes, people think that he is from Congress so will he come or not.
However, Dotasra is feeling sad that he wasn’t invited, adding that he would have attended the rally had he been called up once.
While showcasing his progressive outlook, Dotasra appreciated the event saying that he witnessed the entire function online and told the Jat leaders that even they can organise a programme on such a decent level on nation building and other issues.
The Rajput Society had organised such a mammoth event, but national Rajput leaders weren’t called. What according to you can be the reason?
Whether it is Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh of Pratap Foundation, their focus has always been on Rajasthan and although people from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and some southern states attended the rally, but the focus was on Rajasthan.
May be, they had a design on highlighting this area and hence focus was on Gajendra Singh through their nation building agenda.
So perhaps that is why, national leaders weren’t invited. There were no other reasons. But then the issue of stage being hijacked would have come up so it is alright, if none was invited.
Like the Congress rally, this rally was also disciplined & wonderfully organised as far as law & order is concerned. To whom would you like to give credit for this?
Credit goes to the Home Minister, who incidentally is also the Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot. After that credit goes to Police, DGP, Commissioner and others. CS, DGP, Home Secretary and Police Commissioner Anand Srivastava are the top beneficiaries after Gehlot.
Srivastava in particular, as the region where the rally was organised, falls under his purview. Moreover, he has an expertise in managing such rallies from police viewpoint. His credibility and competency has increased manifolds.
Probably for the first time in the history of rallies, no newspaper or news channel has given any negative remarks & the rally made headlines. How do you percieve it as a ‘Media Tycoon’?
It was a good effort. Its not advisable to stay critical in every issue. What media projected, was a practical approach.
This also goes to show that the Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh enjoys huge honour and credibility and thus was supported by all.
Major news dailies carried major headlines. It is a good sign that the media highlighted their constructive ideology.
Apart from Gajendra Singh, many people in BJP also consider Satish Poonia, Rajpal Singh and Diya Kumari as the Chief Ministerial candidates in 2023, do you think so too?
Satish Poonia falls into the category of ‘Natural Successor’ as a State Chief is considered to be a CM candidate. However, what would be High Command’s decision is the real question.
If they have decided that Shekhawat has to be projected and made the CM, then it is a different matter.
But between Poonia and Diya Kumari, Poonia is the ‘Natural Successor’ and if the issue of projecting a Jat CM comes up, then Poonia can be named.
Diya Kumari is closely connected to political power houses and it is said that she can be a ‘Dark Horse’ thus, some party leaders project her as ‘Young Vasundhara Raje’ in New Delhi. As of now, there is one strong contender, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.
Another ‘Dark Horse’ in Rajasthan BJP is Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, who belongs to the Raje camp and if Raje comes to power again, he can be her Shanti Dhariwal.
Arun Jaitley was highly impressed with Rajpal and wanted to make him MoS Finance, but Raje didn’t let him go. He is a talented man and Delhi has recognised his talent.
What is your take on ‘Yogi Factor’ in Uttar Pradesh and ‘Vasundhara Factor’ in Rajasthan?
There is only one similarlity and that is- Some are extremely happy, while the others aren’t.
The manner in which the High Command, PM and Home Minister function, there seems to be a gap in the wavelength in work culture of Yogi and the High Command, which in turn, have resulted into certain
I have heard that UP should have been divided into two and Purvanchal should be created, but Yogi stood against this.
Then the High Command sent a former civil servant to UP and it was said he will be made a minister, but Yogi became adamant on this aspect too so an overall perception was created that Yogi confronts the High Command. Now there is a loose talk that Yogi will not be the CM.
In Rajasthan, there is a huge gap and if the ‘Raje factor’ is sorted out after six months, then it will be seen where she is standing in the party.
Despite such a huge Rajput rally in the absence of Madam, is it the compulsion for the High Command to find a solution to ‘Vasundhara factor’ and has any progress been made in this direction?
It is a prerequisite, which even the High Command accepts, that ‘Raje factor’ needs to be addressed to form the government.
I have heard from relevant quarters that her equation with Prime Minister is better, she shares cordial relation with JP Nadda and Arun Singh, and is working towards developing better relations with the RSS, but as of now, she hasn’t been able to break the ice with Amit Shah, so is being said.