Rajasthan minister Meena resigns to ‘fulfill poll vow’


The 72-year-old leader announced his decision at a prayer meeting here on Thursday….reports Archana Sharma

Senior BJP leader Kirodi Lal Meena’s sudden resignation as Rajasthan minister on Thursday in line with his poll-time undertaking to quit if he failed to ensure his party’s victory in any of the seven Lok Sabha seats in eastern Rajasthan that were assigned to him, has evoked shock and surprise and also raised several questions.

The 72-year-old leader announced his decision at a prayer meeting here on Thursday.

Meena, a key leader of the tribal community and a five-time MLA and two-term MP, was assigned the responsibility by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hence, made his vow.

However, the Lok Sabha election results saw the BJP unable to score a hat-trick of sweeping the state like in the 2014 and 2019 polls, losing crucial seats like Dausa, Bharatpur, Karauli-Dholpur and Tonk-Sawai Madhopur – over half of the seats assigned to Meena, triggering speculation as to whether Meena would stick to his word.

However, the senior BJP leader had given hints at stepping down as minister, as he stopped using his official vehicle after the election results were announced.

An MBBS doctor by profession, Meena started his career with the BJP, though he left the party in 2008 over some issues but rejoined in 2018.

He has been a firebrand leader of the Meena community, which has a significant vote share in eastern Rajasthan, leading agitations and being a whistleblower in several alleged scams, including the Jal Jeevan scam that drew raids by central agencies which seemed to have worked for the BJP.

A former Rajya Sabha member, he won the Assembly elections from Sawai Madhopur in 2023, sending a message to the Meena community to ensure the party’s dominance in the eastern region of the state.

However, with his resignation, questions are being raised as to who shall lead from the front in eastern Rajasthan.

State BJP leaders seemed split over his resignation, with some claiming that his decision seems to be a pressure tactic to demand a portfolio of his choice.

Some sources claimed that Meena was considered a CM candidate after the Assembly polls where the BJP unseated the Congress, but was given the agriculture portfolio which he did not like.

Further, he sought a ticket for his brother from Dausa in the Lok Sabha polls, but his request was rejected. Then, he was reportedly unhappy when the state Education Department questioned his decisions on transfers. All this left him displeased with the setup and hence, came his resignation, the sources said.

Now it remains to be seen whether his resignation will be accepted, and if there is a new leader from the area waiting in the wings.

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