Jaipur: In another jolt for the BJP in Rajasthan, senior BJP leader Subash Maharia, denied a ticket from the Sikar Lok Sabha constituency, Sunday announced he would contest as an independent.
Maharia, a Jat community leader, made the announcement while addressing a big rally in Sikar.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has fielded Swami Sumedhanand from here. Since the announcement of his candidature, Sumedhanand is facing strong opposition from Maharia`s supporters.
"After talking to his supporters, Maharia has decided to fight Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate. He is expected to file his nomination papers on March 26," one of his supporters told IANS on phone from Sikar.
Talking to IANS over phone, Maharia, a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government said: "I have worked in this parliamentary constituency for over 18 years now. People never wanted to have an outsider candidate from here so they have requested me to fight the elections."
"People don`t need any Swami or religious gurus in politics," he said.
Sikar is a Jat-community dominated constituency and the Congress has also fielded PC Jat, a Jat, from the constituency.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Congress` Mahadeo Singh Khandela had won the seat, defeating Maharia.