The search for a new Bharatiya Janata Party state president has intensified in Rajasthan after the two factional leaders of the party met Arun Jaitley, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Jaitley met leader of opposition in the state Assembly Vasundhara Raje, deputy leader Ghanshyam Tiwari and former state party president Gulab Chand Kataria, both coming from strong RSS background opposing Raje.
However, from their statements here on Wednesday, it seems the factional fight has intensified instead of showing any signs of easing.
Both Tewari and Kataria on Wednesday had a closed door meeting at the residence of party national treasurer Ramdas Agarwal to articulate their views and strategy. What is common among the three is that they are opposed to projecting any leader as the party’s face.
Kataria said even during the time of veteran leader Bhairon Singh Shekawat the party never projected any leader though he was the obvious choice of the top post in the state. They were of the opinion that an election is fought under the party and its ideology and projecting any leader will be counterproductive.
After the meeting Ramdas Agarwal said, “I am of the opinion that an experienced, efficient and a person who can unite all the leaders and workers should be made the president”. Agarwal, who has been playing a neutral role in the factional fight, had recently targeted Raje and made common cause with the anti-Raje faction.
Recently he had said veteran leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani never made or promoted such workers who say that the party begins with A (Atal Bihari) and ends with A (Advani). But these days we hear that the party begins with V and ends with V,” Agrawal said without naming Vasundhara directly.
However, Raje and her supporters want to follow the Gujarat model where Narendra Modi has been given a free hand in the selection of candidates and projected as the CM.
However, her detractors say unlike Modi, Raje is only one of the leaders and the allegations of corruption during her first tenure could be used by the Congress again and projecting her as the party’s face may be counterproductive.
However, according to sources the central leadership is quite convinced of Vasundara Raje leading the party in the state.