New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday suspended Manvendra Singh, son of expelled leader Jaswant Singh, from its primary membership and removed him from its National Executive following reports that he was campaigning against the party's official candidate in Barmer Lok Sabha constituency of Rajasthan.
Manvendra, an MLA from Shiv under Barmer LS constituency, has been campaigning for his father and former Union Minister, contesting as an independent, and refraining from attending party meetings in favour of its official candidate Sonaram Choudhary.
The decision to suspend Manvendra was taken by BJP's Rajasthan unit following reports that he was campaigning against Choudhary in Barmer and supporting Jaswant Singh who is in fray there as an independent after having been refused nomination.
This, state BJP sources said, amounts to "gross anti-party activities". Jaswant Singh termed as a "revenge" the actions taken by BJP against his son.
"This kind of step has been taken with the intention of taking revenge. This is condemnable because he (Manavendra) is her 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. On the direction of the party central leadership, Manvendra's case was referred to the state disciplinary action committee and till then his primary membership has been suspended, Onkar Singh Lakhawat, state BJP vice president, told PTI in Jaipur.
The disciplinary action committee would take up this matter soon for a final decision, if any, Lakhawat said. BJP earlier expelled Jaswant Singh for entering electoral fray in Barmer as an independent candidate against the party's official nominee after he was refused the party ticket. BJP fielded Choudhary, a Congress defector, for Barmer LS seat.
The party's Rajasthan unit had resented Manvendra's actions of supporting a dissident leader and BJP state unit president Ashok Parnami had written to the party's central unit seeking action against him.
As per the party's constitution, the state unit of the party cannot initiate disciplinary action against a leader who is a member of the national executive.
Lakhawat had led a two-member panel to visit Barmer and take stock of the situation there and prepare a report which he sent to the party central leadership on Monday.
Taking into consideration the recommendation of BJP's Rajasthan party chief, BJP president Rajnath Singh decided to remove Manvendra Singh from the national executive, paving the way for further action against him.
In a letter to Parnami, BJP general Secretary JP Nadda today informed him of the party president's decision of removing Manvendra from the national executive today evening.
Lakhawat said supporters of Jaswant Singh have damaged seven vehicles of Sonaram in Shiv assembly segment this afternoon.
(With additional inputs from PTI)