On September 12, shoes, slippers and empty water bottles were hurled at Congress leader and Rajasthan sports minister Ashok Chandna, allegedly by Sachin Pilot camp at Asthi Visarjan program of late Gurjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla. Had it not been Kirori Singh Bainsla’s son Vijay Singh Bainsla who stopped the crowd from getting violent, the situation could have been worse, as per reports.
#WATCH | Ajmer, Rajasthan: Shoes & slippers were allegedly thrown by miscreants in crowds as chants of Sachin pilot emerged during a program of Rajasthan Sports minister Ashok Chandna (12.09) pic.twitter.com/j0NWi7mZUT— ANI (@ANI) September 13, 2022
Both Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress leaders were present at the mass meeting organized by the MBC community in memory of the late Gurjar leader. Apart from Ashok Chandna, BJP MP and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, BJP state president Satish Poonia, Congress MLA and industries minister Shakuntala Rawat were present at the meeting. However, Sachin Pilot, who himself comes from the same community, was not present at the program.
The series of events at the mass meeting
Vijay Singh Bainsla was on a Kalash Yatra with the ashes of the late Gurjar leader and travelled across the state so that the community members can pay their last respects to the leader. The Asthi Visarjan program was scheduled for September 12 in Pushkar, Ajmer, for which several leaders irrespective of their political affiliation were invited.
Slippers, empty bottles hurled at leaders Shakuntala Rawat and Ashok Chandna in #Pushkar, #Ajmer at raj-mantri’s funeral: Chants proclaiming Sachin Pilot reverberate in the same crowd.@Amir_Haque and @anchoramitaw with more on the story. pic.twitter.com/sGboGtfUAG— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) September 13, 2022
During the mass meeting, the leaders addressed the attendees and paid their respects to the late Kirori Singh Bainsla. However, when Rajasthan minister and Congress leader Ashok Chandna came to the dais, some attendees started raising slogans in favour of Congress leader Sachin Pilot. When asked to stop, they started hurdling shoes, slippers and water bottles toward Chandna. As there was a lot of distance between the stage and the hooligans, none of the shoes etc reached the stage. To ensure Chandna’s safety, he was taken away from the stage along with other Congress leaders Shakuntala Rawat.
Irked by the series of events that took place in Pushkar, Chandna wrote on Twitter, “If Sachin Pilot becomes the chief minister by throwing a shoe at me, then he should be made soon because today I do not feel like fighting. The day I come to fight, then only one will be left and I do not want this.”
आज एक अद्भुत नजारा देखने को मिला 72 शहीदों के मारने के आदेश देने वाले (तत्कालीन मंत्रिमंडल सदस्य) राजेन्द्र राठौड़ साहब के मंच पर आने पर तालिया बजी और जिनके परिवार के लोग आंदोलन में जेल गए उन पर जूते फेंके गए।— Ashok Chandna (@AshokChandnaINC) September 12, 2022
In another tweet, he wrote, “Today a wonderful sight was seen- When Rajendra Rathod, (then cabinet member) who ordered the killing of 72 persons came on the stage, was applauded and shoes were thrown at those whose family members went to jail during the ‘Gurjar reservation’ agitation.”
जिस मंच पर जूते फेंके गए उस पर शहीदों के परिवारजन बैठे थे कम से कम उनका तो ख्याल कर लेते।— Ashok Chandna (@AshokChandnaINC) September 12, 2022
कर्नल साहब की अंतिम स्मृति को ऐसे कलंकित करने वाले लोग कितना दूर तक जाएंगे यह तो वक्त बताएगा… T-2
“The family members of the martyrs were sitting on the platform on which the shoes were thrown, at least they should have been taken care of,” he added.
Sachin Pilot failed to attend Asthi Visarjan of prominent Gurjar leader
Speaking to OpIndia, Vijay Singh Bainsla said, “It was not a place to settle political scores.” He added on August 12, days before the Yatra started, he had personally contacted every leader to invite them to the Asthi Visarjan Program scheduled for September 12. Bainsla said, “Sachin was the first person I called to invite. However, he did not receive my call. At that time, members of the Gurjar community from his camp were with me. I requested them to call his PA and arrange the call. After a few attempts they managed to reach out to the PA and I finally talked to him and personally invited him to the event. However, it was sad to see that he missed such an important event for the community that he belongs to.”
Pilot had though tweeted about the program. He said, “Tributes to Late Col. Kirori Singh Bainsla ji on his birth anniversary. Today, on the occasion of his ashes immersion, I offer my heartfelt tributes.”
स्व.कर्नल किरोड़ी सिंह बैंसला जी की जयंती पर उन्हें सादर नमन।— Sachin Pilot (@SachinPilot) September 12, 2022
आज उनकी अस्थि विसर्जन होने पर मैं अपनी भावपूर्ण श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करता हूँ।
OpIndia’s source in the Gurjar community linked to the Congress party said on the assurance of anonymity that a group of local Gurjar leaders of Sachin Pilot camp went to meet him and invite him for the event but he put a condition that it should not be about MBC community. He said, “Pilot told them to remove ‘MBC community from the posters’ as he does not want to project himself as a leader of a community.”
He further added, “When Asthi Kalash of Late Shri Kirori Singh Bainsla reach Tonk, which is Sachin Pilot’s constituency, it was visible how much love the people of the community had for the late Gurjar leader. Sachin Pilot did not come for the Tonk procession as well. The leaders from other locations had joined irrespective of their political affiliation.”
Notably, Vijay along with his late father had joined BJP before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Gurjars had played a vital role in Congress’s win in the last Assembly elections.