I`m still the leader of opposition: Raje

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 19:11

Jaipur: BJP leader Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday said she had not stepped down from the post of Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly as asked by the party leadership.

"Nothing so," she told reporters here when asked whether she had already submitted her resignation to the party high command before returning from Delhi where she met party chief Rajnath Singh and senior leader L K Advani.
Raje, who chaired a meeting here of BJP legislature party, attended by 70 of the 78 MLAs, said "It is my duty to hold the legislature party meeting."

On whether the party high command asked her not to hold the meeting, she said, "That is not true...it is my duty to hold the meeting as I am BJP legislature party leader".

She said "I am a very disciplined member of the party. I will do the best for my party."

On whether the BJP was withdrawing suspension of its two MLAs loyal to her -- Rajendra Singh Rathore and Gyan Deo Ahuja -- Raje said, "The matter is under consideration. They have given their replies to the notice served on them by the state party chief".

Earlier in the day, as a show of strength by Leader of Opposition Vasundhara Raje, with 70 of its 78 party MLAs attended a meeting called by her.

The MLAs decided to hold a dharna on the stairs of the Assembly and boycott the session, resuming tomorrow after a month-long recess, to protest the suspension of Gyandeo Ahuja, Bhawani Singh Rajawat and Hemsingh Bhadana from the House by the Speaker on July 28.

The meeting, however, did not take up any matter related the resignation of Raje, BJP Deputy Leader Ghanshyam Tiwari told reporters here.

"The issue of Raje`s resignation did not crop up during the meeting. She has chaired today`s meeting and will lead us in the assembly," he said.

BJP MLAs also boycotted today`s business advisory committee (BAC) meeting to decide the agenda for the session, Tiwari said.

Ahuja, Rajawat and Bhadana were suspended by a voice vote on the ruling Congress motion against their behaviour with the speaker, creating unruly scenes and raising anti-government slogans while demanding assent to a bill on quota to Gujjars.
"The ruling Congress is neither coming to talk on the suspension of the BJP MLAs nor indicating withdrawal of their suspension in the house," Tiwari said.

Asked whether two Raje loyalists and BJP MLAs Rajendra Singh Rathore and Ahuja suspended by the party for their indiscipline and disclosing party affairs to media during Raje`s resignation row early this month attended the meeting, Tiwari said, "Yes they attended".

Raje, who has been asked by the BJP high command to step down as the Leader of the Opposition in the wake of the party`s poor performance in the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly elections, returned here yesterday after a meeting with the party top brass in Delhi.

Later Raje and Rathore met the Speaker to intervene in the impasse emerging due to suspension of the three BJP MLAs.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - 19:11

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