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Cracks in the open, Raje attends BJP core panel meeting

Vasundhara Raje, who has skipped several party programmes in recent times, joined the meeting held at the BJP headquarters.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur |
February 24, 2021 5:51:21 pm
Former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje arrives to attend BJP Core Committee Meeting at party office in Jaipur, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The core committee of the Rajasthan BJP met in Jaipur Tuesday, days after MLAs known to be loyal to former chief minister Vasundhara Raje wrote to the party leadership alleging bias in the Assembly proceedings and claiming that several senior legislators were being ignored.

Raje, who has skipped several party programmes in recent times, joined the meeting held at the BJP headquarters. She arrived when the meeting, that lasted more than three hours, had begun.

BJP national general secretary and Rajasthan in-charge Arun Singh, who was present at the meeting, later said everyone had expressed their happiness at the leadership of state president Satish Poonia. He also denied any knowledge of the letter by Raje’s supporters.

Earlier, en route to Jaipur, Raje told reporters that several projects started in her time as Chief Minister, like the Bhamashah Yojana, had been stopped. “I have full trust that in the coming time, this entire family will fight such a battle that those who tried to bring anarth (disaster) upon us, who have worked against our party, against the public, we will uproot and remove them,” she said.

Singh said the BJP is a very big party and if someone commits a mistake, that person would be “summoned, convinced and, if needed, will be scolded”. “I haven’t received the said letter and I don’t know about its contents. I don’t think it has anything against anyone, but if that is the case, this is not the way we function… If there is any issue, the person can speak individually and it can be resolved… Party workers should not do anything that hurts the party,” he added.

Everyone in the BJP should focus on removing the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government, Singh said. “Instead of elevating oneself, one should always elevate the party… However big one might be….”

He also announced a programme for protests from March 6 to 14 at the block and tehsil level against the policies of the state government.

Apart from Singh, the core committee members present at Tuesday’s meeting included Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, whose possible appointment as the BJP’s Rajasthan president had been vehemently opposed by Raje in 2018; Union minister Kailash Choudhary; Poonia; leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria; and deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore.

MLAs loyal to Raje apart from other BJP leaders have recently been expressing dissatisfaction over the state leadership. Prior to writing about the alleged ‘bias’ in Assembly proceedings, Raje loyalists had held the loss in the Hadoti region of the state during the local body elections on the organisation.

Before that, in January, several persons claiming to be supporters of Raje had floated an outfit named Vasundhara Raje Samarthak Manch Rajasthan, with the aim of returning her as CM in the 2023 Assembly elections.

The reports of a factional war have been further strengthened by the appointment of Raje detractors to plum posts in the party, with the central leadership seen as increasingly calling the shots.

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