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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Confining herself to Dushyant's constituency, Vasundhara Raje makes her displeasure known

Even though BJP’s list of star campaigners included Raje’s name, this time she could only be seen in the Jhalawar-Baran constituency from where her son Dushyant Singh is fighting his fifth consecutive election.
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 17:06 IST
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 17:06 IST

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Jaipur: One of BJP’s tallest leaders and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje confined herself to her son Dushyant Singh’s constituency and did not campaign anywhere else, perhaps making a point that she has not taken her sidelining in the party lightly and is upset.

Even though BJP’s list of star campaigners included Raje’s name, this time she could only be seen in the Jhalawar-Baran constituency from where her son Dushyant Singh is fighting his fifth consecutive election. Jhalawar has been Raje’s and BJP’s stronghold, and Dushyant has been winning with increased majority each time. He faces Congress’s Urmila Jain Bhaya but doesn’t seem to be in any sort of trouble. So, poll observers say Raje could have easily campaigned for others, if she felt like it.

Raje, 71, was also not fully involved during the Assembly election campaign in November 2023, although she could be seen in some constituencies and yatras then.

Raje’s official social media handle only features her in various campaigns in Jhalawar-Baran region. Although she has reposted many of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah’s rallies and interviews, it can be noted that she has largely confined herself to the region and was seen asking for votes for her son, as she emphasised the development work done in the region.

Her absence at any of the other candidates’ campaign rallies have not raised many eyebrows. BJP’s simple explanation is that she has gone wherever she has been required. Chief Minister Bhajanlal Sharma had stated so much in an interview given to a digital platform that Raje is going wherever she has asked to and required and BJP works as a team.

But BJP insiders say perhaps she has realised her political innings is perhaps over. Also as big leaders like Modi, Shah and Nadda are leading the campaign, there is no need for her to go out. “She is more concerned about her son now. And has realised that probably her political career is on the wane. She has had her peak. She was not consulted in the ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha this time,” Sunil Bhargava, convenor, policy and research wing, BJP told Deccan Herald.

A two-time chief minister Raje managed a stupendous victory for BJP in 2013, when the party won 163 seats out of total 200 in the Assembly. In 2003, she became the state’s first woman Chief Minister. A mass leader, she connects with all communities, calling herself a Rajput ki beti, Jat ki Bahu, and a Gujjar’s samdhan.

She is being consistently sidelined since the preparations for Assembly elections began in July-August last year. The Assembly elections were held in November 2023. And it was made clear by the top leaders, that Raje no longer could consider herself for the top post in the state.

Poll analysts say she has taken her sidelining quietly, but she is still a force to reckon with. Sunny Sebastian, senior poll analyst says, “Raje is miffed as she should be. She understands fully well that her cutting down to size is deliberate and she may be lying low for now. She has always been considered proud and arrogant and obviously she will not go if not called to any of the campaign rallies. Maybe she wasn’t called because in such rallies you have a protocol, and your worth is gauged by the time you are allowed to speak or the seating you get. But one never knows, she is still a mass leader, a crowd-puller, a leader who generates a warm feeling among the crowd and she has the capability to bounce back. One never knows what happens in politics.”

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Published 26 April 2024, 17:06 IST

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