It’s rare to see Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje attempting to appease her political opponents, but she seems not to be following her standard operating procedure these days.
Raje has gone out of her way to ensure her victory against the party high-command in the ‘tug-of-war game’ being played over the appointment of the Rajasthan BJP president. The rumors about her meeting with Rajya Sabha member and senior BJP leader in Rajasthan Om Mathur at the latter’s house in Delhi indicates to what extent she is getting herself involved in the matter - on a personal level.
Raje is not bowing to the pressure from the party high command leaders, particularly BJP national president Amit Shah. Besides ensuring her personal involvement, she is also making all her cabinet ministers – most of whom are her staunch loyalists – put their weight behind her.
Pushed to corner?
“She is either feeling pushed into a corner by the party high command or trying to make a point that she is the boss when it comes to Rajasthan politics. Whatever the case, one thing is quite obvious: she won’t go down quietly,” said a senior BJP leader on the condition of anonymity.
Whatever the case, BJP workers in Rajasthan are at the receiving end of the drama that has been going on for the past 60 days, ever since Ashok Parnami stepped down as the state BJP president. The workers are finding themselves in the doldrums. At a time when all senior Congress leaders in Rajasthan including Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot have already taken their campaigning to the grassroots level, Raje and senior BJP leaders are busy demonstrating their clout.
“The post of the state president is a very crucial one because he or she plays an important role in mobilizing workers at the grassroots level. Any further delay in the appointment will further demoralize them,” said the BJP leader.
Still NO consensus
Vasundhara Raje and her ministers are in touch with many senior leaders in Delhi since June 13 after Amit Shah brought them on a negotiation table
, but failed to reach a consensus on a mutually aggregable candidate. She is reported to have met union home minister Rajnath Singh. The party high command is insistent on the appointment of Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
, but the Raje camp is not in agreement.
On Thursday night, Om Mathur attended a meeting between Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the current political situation in Rajasthan.
Besides Raje, Rajasthan cabinet minister Yunus Khan and Dr Ram Pratap also met Om Mathur at the latter’s residence in Delhi. Union agriculture minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was also seen at Mathur’s residence.
First published: June 16, 2018