Protests Erupt at BJP Meeting Over Rupala’s Controversial Remarks

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Protests Erupt at BJP Meeting Over Rupala’s Controversial Remarks

| Updated: April 6, 2024 17:52

Gujarat’s Kshatriya community members disrupted a public meeting of state BJP president C R Paatil in Khambhalia town, Devbhumi Dwarka district, on Saturday. The protesters demanded the withdrawal of Union Minister Parshottam Rupala’s candidature following his controversial remarks about Rajputs and princely families.

Videos from the event showed protesters waving black flags and chanting slogans amid upturned chairs at the BJP’s booth-level workers’ meeting. The protests began as soon as Paatil arrived to inaugurate the party’s new office building, Dwarkesh Kamalam.

The controversy stems from Rupala’s comments made at a Dalit community event in Rajkot two weeks ago. He remarked that foreign rulers, including the British, were ruthless in their persecution, leading to kings eventually capitulating and forming alliances through marriage.

Rupala, the BJP’s candidate for the Rajkot Lok Sabha seat in the 2024 elections, has since apologized twice for his comments. On April 2, Paatil urged the Kshatriya community to forgive Rupala and join the party’s election campaign.

Khambhalia police inspector B J Sarvaiya confirmed that the protest was staged by Kshatriya community members. He reported that the protesters dispersed peacefully without any violence or need for police intervention.

Despite the protests and demands from Kshatriya organizations for the BJP to cancel Rupala’s Lok Sabha ticket, the party has stood firm. On Saturday, the BJP erected hoardings stating, “Rajkot is firmly behind Rupala.”

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved soon. He noted that Rupala had already apologized for his comments and expressed hope that the Kshatriya community, known for its forgiving nature, would resolve the issue.

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