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Meena rejoins BJP; named RS candidate from Rajasthan

Press Trust of India  |  Jaipur 

In a significant political development ahead of the state slated for later his year, NPP's and MLA Kirodi Lal Meena, who had left the in 2008, rejoined the saffron party today.

Notably, this happened on a day when Meena was declared one of the 18 candidates of the for upcoming Rajya Sabha biennial polls. Given BJP's numbers, Meena's entry in to the of the Parliament is a virtual certainty.

Meena, a five-time legislator, along with and two other NPP MLAs, and Geeta Verma, joined the ruling party at a ceremony in headquarters here in presence of Chief and other leaders.

The development will strengthen the ruling party, particularly in eastern and parts of southern where the leader has a significant hold in constituencies dominated by the Meena community.

BJP state said Meena has given a letter to merge with BJP the NPP's state unit with two third majority of his MLAs.

The NPP had four MLAs in the House of 200, but the fourth legislator, Navin Pilania, has not joined the party and kept away from the development.

"I am very happy today to return to the old home unconditionally. It is as if my 'vanvas' (exile) has come to an end.

"My background is of RSS ideology. After having worked for the RSS, I joined the BJP and never looked back. Today, I joined the BJP again with no condition," Meena said in his address to the BJP leaders and workers after joining the party.

Asked about Pilania not joining the BJP, Meena said, "It is his wish."

Meena said that he would tour the state, meet party workers and stop the from coming to power after the Assembly elections.

Hitting out at the Congress, the tribal leader said former chief had targeted him during an agitation in Udaipur, but Chief Raje was never offended by his agitations.

Meena said that he has led 380 agitations in the state and 103 "politically motivated" cases were registered against him.

The 66-year-old leader said that he committed mistakes and got separated from the BJP 10 years back but he never left the party ideology.

Welcoming Meena into the party's fold, Raje said her "strong brother has returned home".

Meena told reporters that he had discussed with independent MLA and former BJP leader before joining the party.

"Beniwal was positive about this development," he said.

BJP's state said, "The party's central leadership gave a nod for the merger after which the joining took place. Meena has not changed his ideology and this is the big thing. We want to expand the party and this will help us in expanding our base."

Last night, Kirodi Lal Meena, who is seen as the patriarch of the Meena community, held a meeting with state Minister at the latter's residence in presence of and

(66) had left the BJP in 2008. In that year's Assembly elections he got elected as His wife also won in the polls as Independent and became a in the then government.

In the 2009 polls, Meena got elected as In 2013, he joined the NPP and became its state convener. The party won four seats in 2013-Assembly elections.

Of the 200 Assembly constituencies in Rajasthan, there are more than 40 seats mostly in eastern and southern parts of the state which are dominated by the Meena community.

Apart from Meena, and are the other two candidates for Rajya Sabha elections.

"announced this at the meeting of party MLAs at the party office here, a BJP said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 11 2018. 22:45 IST