Rajasthan BJP MLAs stage sit-in at Advani residence

Rajasthan BJP MLAs bat for Vasundhara Raje

Vasundhara Raje

The group of legislators, along with the four BJP MPs from Rajasthan, reached Advani's residence this afternoon but the BJP leader refused to meet them, prompting them to stage a sit-in outside his house.

Later, BJP chief whip in Rajasthan Assembly Rajendra Singh Rathore and party leader Kiran Maheshwari submitted a memorandum of their demands to Advani's office.

Raje is reported to be close to Advani and her supporters expect him to bail her out.
However, Party President Rajnath Singh and RSS leaders are opposed to her continuance as the Leader of Opposition in the assembly.

They have been seeking her removal on the ground that she had failed to deliver and keep the party cadre together during the vidhan sabha and Lok Sabha polls. The number of BJP MPs from Rajasthan dropped to four from 23 while in the assembly the ruling party strength plummeted to 78 from 123.

Party insiders feel the order to remove Raje will weaken Advani, who is already reeling under demands that he choose a successor.

Raje's supporters claim to have 57 of the 78 BJP MLAs on their side. In the 200-member assembly, Congress has a strength of 101 MLAs.

Earlier, the MLAs had met party leader Rajnath Singh in a bid to pressurise him against the decision to remove her from the post of Leader of the Opposition in the assembly.

Though Vasundhara Raje has herself maintained a studied silence over moves to eject her from the post, her supporters talked of re-electing her as legislature party leader if it comes to the crunch.

MLA from Bharatpur Vijay Bansal has said that if she was removed from the post then "we will re-elect her as our leader"

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