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Kirodi Lal Meena Quits As Rajasthan Minister, Fulfills “If Party Loses” Promise

Kirodi Lal Meena Quits As Rajasthan Minister, Fulfills “If Party Loses” Promise


Rajasthan BJP leader Kirodi Lal Meena quit at a public prayer meeting.

Jaipur:

Rajasthan BJP leader Kirodi Lal Meena, 72, has announced his resignation – at a public prayer meeting in Jaipur – from the state cabinet and all posts.

Mr Meena – who held multiple portfolios, including Agriculture and Rural Development – said last month, before counting of votes for the 2024 Lok Sabha election, he would quit if the BJP lost any of the seven seats in eastern Rajasthan assigned to him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“…the PM spoke to me and gave me a list of seven seats. I worked hard (and) if the party loses even one seat out of that seven, I will leave the post of minister…” he declared hours before counting.

READ | Will Quit As Minister If BJP…: Rajasthan MP Kirodi Lal Meena

Given the BJP swept the state in 2014, winning 24 of its 25 seats (the 25th went to an ally), and it ousted the Congress from power in last year’s Assembly election, Mr Meena’s bet seemed safe.

However, in a plot twist not picked up by exit polls, the Congress-led INDIA bloc won eight seats – after failing to win even one in 2009 and 2014 elections. Four of those – Bharatpur, Karauli-Dholpur, Dausa, and Tonk-Sawai Madhopur were among constituencies Mr Meena was tasked with winning.

In Dausa, the seat previously held by Mr Meena, the Congress’ Murari Meena thumped the BJP’s Kanhaiya Lal Meena, by 2.37 lakh votes, to reclaim the bastion of party stalwart Rajesh Pilot.

On Thursday, Mr Meena posted the famous Ramcharitramanas lines ‘Raghukul reeti sada chali aai, pran jaai par vachan na jaai‘ on X to underline his intent to keep his promise at any cost.

And he told reporters, “There is no reason for resentment. I have resigned. I did not go to the recent cabinet meeting… I could (not) go morally.”

Sources said a formal announcement was delayed because Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma had tried to persuade the senior tribal leader to reconsider his decision. “I also met the Chief Minister. He respectfully said he will not accept the resignation…” Mr Meena had said earlier.

Overall the BJP only won 14 seats – 10 down from its 2019 election score.

Across the country the BJP, expecting to win 370 seats on its own, and over 400 with its National Democratic Alliance partners, was restricted to 240 and 293, respectively, after a strong showing by the opposition. The Congress won 99 seats on its own – its best score in the past three elections.

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