Rajkot Lok Sabha Seat in Turmoil as Kshatriya Backlash Intensifies Against Parshottam Rupala

In response to Rupala's remarks, the Kshatriya community mobilized, forming a coordination committee comprising 92 organizations across Gujarat


GANDHINAGAR, GUJARAT : The upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat on May 7 are poised to witness a potential upset in the Rajkot constituency, as union minister Parshottam Rupala faces mounting backlash from the Kshatriya community. The protests against Rupala’s alleged derogatory remarks have transformed into a formidable force, reshaping the state’s political dynamics.

The controversy stemmed from remarks made by BJP leader Parshottam Rupala during a Dalit community function in Rajkot on March 2. Rupala’s statement, suggesting that while Dalits had displayed unwavering dedication, Rajputs/Kshatriyas engaged in questionable social practices, ignited fury among the Kshatriya community. Rupala’s own Patel background added fuel to the fire, exacerbating tensions between the two influential communities.

In response to Rupala’s remarks, the Kshatriya community mobilized, forming a coordination committee comprising 92 organizations across Gujarat. Their primary demand was the withdrawal of Rupala’s candidature, but the BJP’s refusal to comply only intensified the protests. Campaign events in Kshatriya-dominated areas witnessed disruptions, underscoring the community’s determination to assert its influence on the electoral process.

The Kshatriya community, constituting approximately 70 lakh or 10% of Gujarat’s total population, wields significant electoral clout, particularly in key constituencies like Jamnagar, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Bhavnagar, and others. Their organized resistance poses a substantial challenge to the BJP’s electoral prospects in these regions.

Despite attempts at damage control, including apologies from Rupala and other party leaders, the BJP’s stance remained unchanged, further alienating the Kshatriya community. The refusal to address the community’s grievances has prompted a shift in their stance, with many Kshatriya voters reconsidering their traditional allegiance to the BJP.

The unrest within the Kshatriya community has injected an element of unpredictability into the electoral landscape of Gujarat. The Rajkot Lok Sabha seat, traditionally a BJP stronghold, now hangs in the balance as the community’s discontent threatens to impact the election outcome. With polling day fast approaching, all eyes are on Rajkot to gauge the extent of the Kshatriya community’s influence and the potential ramifications for the BJP’s electoral fortunes.