Sidelined Vasundhara Raje to float her own party?
Jaipur: With party president Nitin Gadkari coming under fire for his role in Maharashtra irrigation scam and the threat posed to its Karnataka unit by its defiant leader BS Yeddyurappa, there seems to be no end to trouble for the main opposition BJP.
In what may create more trouble for the saffron party, Vasundhara Raje, BJP’s tallest leader and former chief minister of Rajasthan may soon be floating her own political party.
According to a leading English daily, Raje, who is currently the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, is mulling to break away from BJP along with a big chunk of her "loyalists" to float her own regional party.
Raje is reportedly upset with the BJP high command for not giving her a big say in the appointment of party state chief, and a free hand in the distribution of party tickets for the Assembly polls due in December next year.
As per sources, Raje will possibly float her own regional party months ahead of the next Assembly Elections in case the BJP leadership does not concede to her demands and fails to recognize her stature in the state unit.
Raje loyalists have long accused BJP high command of sidelining their leader, which has led to a possible revolt in the party’s Rajasthan unit.
Raje‘s supporters claim that despite her stature as the only leader in the BJP with a pan-state appeal, her contribution to the party has never been acknowledged. They allege that Raje’ immense popularity, her organization and leadership skills have never got any appreciation from the BJP high command.
Raje loyalists blame BJP top brass for equating her and the "leaders who have no influence outside their Assembly constituencies” in the name of bringing parity in the party’s sate unit.
Regretting the sorry state of BJP’s affairs in Rajasthan, Raje supporters claim that their leader have been denied a major say in the party’s functioning.
Lack of leadership, gross indiscipline and disproportionate ambitions have further dealt a major blow to party’s reputation in the state. Citing cases of Kolayat MLA Devi Singh Bhati, who has launched an independent campaign against party leadership and Gulab Chand Kataria, Raje supporters say the high command has utterly failed to quell the rebellion. \
They allege that senior BJP leaders are shy of projecting Vasundhara as their top leader in Rajasthan and the prevailing situation has left her with no option but to think about options beyond BJP.
"Madam (Raje) was aghast at the national leaders' indifference towards her repeated demand for a free hand in the run-up to assembly polls in the state," BJP MLAs aligned with Raje was quoted as saying.
An insider from the Raje camp has claimed that 70 out of the 79 MLA have expressed their support to Raje and many others are also willing to follow suit.
Despite reports of rebellion in the BJP, the Raje camp has so far refused to comment on the issue. Raje’s trusted lieutenant and party chief whip in the State Assembly, Rajendra Singh Rathore has denied having any information in this regard.