BJP central leadership has directed the state unit to work as one and end factionalism to ensure victory in the upcoming polls
NEW DELHI: With the elections approaching, factionalism is emerging as a major cause of concern for the BJP in Rajasthan. While top leaders are vying with each other to become the face of the party during the forthcoming Assembly elections, the state BJP is also plagued with infighting among the functionaries over getting tickets.
Concerned over the widening rifts in the Rajasthan unit, the BJP central leadership has directed the state unit to work as one and end factionalism to ensure victory in the upcoming polls.
"As the factionalism is clearly visible, the central leadership has many times instructed the state leaders to end it and work together to ensure party victory. Due to ongoing factionalism, the Rajasthan Assembly elections will be contested under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It’s the prerogative of the party’s parliamentary board to pick the chief ministerial candidate," a party leader said.
While many leaders, including former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Ashwini Vaishnaw, former state unit president Satish Poonia, are eyeing the chief ministerial post, the BJP central leadership has not disclosed its plan regarding the party's face for the Assembly election. However, on many occasions, the BJP has said that the polls will be contested under collective leadership.
A well-placed source in the BJP told this newspaper that the former Ms Raje is trying to reclaim her position as the face of the party in Rajasthan. Supporters of the former chief minister repeatedly mentioned that she is a leader who has delivered twice and the party has managed to emerge as a strong Opposition under Ms Raje's leadership.
Earlier this week, the saffron party suspended MLA and former Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Kailash Meghwal from the party for his open rebellion" against the party leadership and accusation of corruption against Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal. The former speaker, who is among Ms Raje’s loyalists, had purportedly refused to withdraw his allegations.
Differences and infighting at the district and Assembly levels are also coming to the fore during the ongoing "Parivartan Yatras". Last week, several leaders in Udaipur complained that they were ignored and not involved in preparation and planning to receive the Yatra.
"While the seniors are fighting to get the leadership position to become the face of the party in the forthcoming Assembly polls, the aspirants are fighting for tickets to contest the elections," a party insider said.