Bypoll defeat sharpens factionalism in Rajasthan BJP as Raje camp goes all guns blazing
Express News Service
JAIPUR: The battle for leadership in Rajasthan BJP has intensified after the party’s embarrassing defeat in recent by-elections. A recent statement by Vasundhra Raje loyalist and former BJP state president Ashok Parnami has sharpened the factionalism in the party’s state unit.
Talking to media on Friday, Parnami claimed the next Assembly election would be fought under the leadership of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
However, this claim angered many in the anti-Raje camp which even pushed BJP state in-charge Arun Singh to express his displeasure over Parnami’s statement.
Meanwhile, senior party leader from RSS camp and leader of opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly, Gulab Chand Kataria has asked why Raje was missing from recent bypoll campaigns.
Parnami’s statement came during his visit to Banswara for a meeting with supporters of the Raje camp.
Replying to queries about keeping Raje away from the party’s bypoll campaign, Parnami said: “It is a matter to be decided at the party level. A review of the performance is going on. The Scindia family has a big contribution to building the party and the party will not keep Raje away from the elections.”
But, as soon as he felt his statement could create difficulties for him, Parnami handled the conversation more responsibly like a soldier of the party.
He remarked, “The parliamentary board will decide the name of the CM candidate.”
When asked whether the Raje camp would fight the next polls against the BJP, he said, “The issue of Raje’s faction holding a separate event is being misinterpreted. She is, and will, continue to be of the BJP.”
BJP’s state in-charge, Arun Singh, however, expressed displeasure over Parnami’s remarks and said, “I have not seen the statement. I will talk to him and I think they should not say such things in public.”
After the bypolls, the ongoing tussle between Raje, who is the tallest leader of BJP in Rajasthan, and the state unit led by Satish Poonia has sharpened.
Though Raje was made star campaigner, she had kept herself away from campaigning.
Attack over absence from campaign
Senior BJP leader Gulab Chand Kataria attacked Raje directly over her absence from bypoll campaigns.
“In our party, the idea is to not revolve only around one person. The party is run by collective decisions.”