Rajnath meets Sushma in a bid to end feud in BJP Raj unit
New Delhi: BJP President Rajnath Singh is actively engaged in resolving the long-simmering discontent in the party's Rajasthan unit and held a meeting with senior party colleague Sushma Swaraj on the issue.
Party sources said that soon after taking over BJP's top post last week, Singh decided to bring the factions led by former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and MLA Gulab Chand Kataria to an amicable understanding as the internecine tussle may harm the party in the assembly elections due later this year.
Singh had held a meeting with the Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on January 27 on Rajasthan and discussed the matter with his Lok Sabha counterpart Sushma Swaraj today.
Raje and other senior BJP leaders from Rajasthan are in touch with the central leadership on the new developments.
Kataria, considered close to RSS, and state unit Chief Arun Chaturvedi are opposed to Raje but have been forced time and again by the party to maintain discipline as BJP does not want to antagonize the former Chief Minister.
Kataria had taken out a "Lok Janjagaran Yatra" from Pratapgarh in Rajasthan on January 13 leading to fresh trouble between the two groups. He had taken out a yatra by the same name from Udaipur in May, 2012 to reach out to people from the tribal belt but was forced to give up mid-way when Raje complained to the central leadership.
Sources said Rajnath Singh, who is said to be not on the best of terms with Raje, may decide to declare her the Chief Ministerial candidate of BJP to give a shot in the arm to the party's electoral prospects.
In 2009, after Raje-led BJP had lost power in the state polls, Rajnath Singh had asked her to resign from the post of the Leader of the Opposition in the new assembly. A reluctant Raje had at first dilly-dallyed on the issue before finally giving her resignation letter to senior party leader L K Advani.
She was reinstated as the Leader of the Opposition by Singh's successor Nitin Gadkari.