BJP BESET WITH NEW PROBLEMS
Vasundhara Raje threatens to quit party
New Delhi, May 6: Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gearing up to make an alliance for the impending Presidential election, it has got embroiled in a fresh controversy of its own making.
Already locked in a severe factional battle particularly on the role of the RSS in its organizational matters, a new off-shoot of this bickering came to the open after former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje threatened to quit the party along with her supporters.
On Saturday evening, in a meeting of the state core committee, Raje threatened to quit the BJP if Kataria goes ahead with his proposed 28-day-long Lok Jagran Yatra. Later, Kataria cancelled the programme after intervention from the central leadership.
The growing chasm between BJP central leadership and Raje and her ostensible displeasure on attempts to sideline her can have adverse impact on the party outside Rajasthan also. Its immediate impact could be felt in the neighbouring BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh as Raje belongs to the erstwhile ruling family of Gwalior and her mother Vijay Raje Scindia was a senior leader of the Jan Sangh and later BJP. Scindia family has considerable influence on MP politics.
A former Union Minister, Raje has apparently taken this extreme step to checkmate the growing influence of the RSS in the state’s organizational affairs. And the triggering point came when RSS protégé and former state minister, Gulab Chand Kataria announced the ‘yatra’ which the Raje faction saw as a prelude to project him as leader before the Assembly elections slated later next year.
The development has come in the backdrop of a recent announcement by the BJP president, Nitin Gadkari indicating that Raje will not be projected as Chief Ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections. In fact, he had talked about fighting elections under the joint leadership of Raje and the party’s state President Arun Chaturvedi which had set the alarm bells ringing in the Raje camp.
Although Kataria immediately announced cancellation of his ‘yatra’ after Raje’s threat to quit along with 30 odd MLAs, it has led to the rival camps coming face to face openly. More seriously, Raje’s open revolt is being perceived to be in defiance of the RSS dictates which has been wielding considerable influence in the organizational issues both at the Centre and the states particularly after Gadkari took over as the BJP chief and is likely to get a second term with the blessings of Nagpur.
After having built the pressure and the fire-fighting operation taken up by the BJP’s central leadership, Raje on Sunday sought to play down the controversy, saying "it is the party's internal problem and we will be able to resolve it." Similar views were echoed by the party also. "There may be some differences of perception but when she has said that it is an internal matter of the party then we should treat it like that," party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
"Despite the discussions in the core committee and our request that this yatra should be postponed, he wants to go ahead with the yatra. But I feel any yatra should strengthen the party and its workers and not create differences. Under the circumstances as I can't represent the voice of our workers, I feel I should resign from the party," Raje had earlier said.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 6 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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