Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the names of Rajasthan’s Rajput leaders, including former vice president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and former external affairs minister Jaswant Singh, during his speech at the commencement of the Barmer oil refinery project here today. The prime minister’s speech assumed significance as the Rajput community has expressed resentment against the BJP ahead of the January 29 bypolls to two Lok Sabha and one Assembly constituencies in the state. Rajasthan also goes to Assembly election later this year Modi said that it was Shekhawat who had envisioned a modern Rajasthan and an oil refinery in the state. As Modi mentioned the name of former external affairs minister Singh, the people was overwhelmed and raised slogans in support of the prime minister. Singh, once a prominent leader of the BJP, has been in coma after he suffered head injury in 2014. His son Manvendra Singh is a BJP MLA.
The prime minister also remembered the First World War hero Major Dalpat Singh Shekhawat, who played a crucial role in the battle of Haifa in Israel. Modi said that he and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu visited Teen Murti Chowk in Delhi to pay homage to the war heroes and and mark its renaming as Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk. Netanyahu is on a six-day visit to India. Modi was addressing a function organised to “commence” work on the Rs 43,129 crore Barmer oil refinery project here.