Raje gets back seat in LS ticket distribution in Raj

Raje gets back seat in LS ticket distribution in Raj

Vasundhara Raje

The Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan may have managed to get 73 seats in assembly polls under the leadership of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. 

But, three months later, in the Lok Sabha poll ticket distribution it appears Raje has been given a back seat by the party's central leadership. This became evident with two instances that took place recently. Firstly, the BJP's alliance with Raje's critic Hanuman Beniwal's newly-formed Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLTP) is suggestive that all is not well between Raje and the central leadership. Beniwal, a prominent Jat leader in Rajasthan, who floated his own party ahead of 2018 assembly polls and won three seats, is known to be the biggest critic of Vasundhara Raje. He was first elected on a BJP ticket in 2008 but left the party in the same year after differences cropped up between the two.
BJP (BJP) offered Hanuman Beniwal the Lok Sabha ticket from Nagaur on seat sharing basis against Congress's Jyoti Mirdha, who belongs to a politically influential family of Rajasthan. Beniwal will in return campaign for the party and influence in at least seven out of 25 Lok Sabha seats, with a sizable Jat population.
Interestingly, Raje who was not keen on this alliance, had kept away from the press conference where the alliance was announced by BJP’s election in-charge in Rajasthan, Prakash Javadekar.
Secondly, the nomination of Diya Kumari of former royal family of Jaipur from Rajsamand Lok Sabha seat, is another instance that suggests that central leadership has ignored the strained relations between Raje and former BJP MLA Diya Kumari. Diya was keen to contest from Jaipur or Sawai Madhopur earlier. But after she failed there, she tried for Rajsamand seat. Party sources reveal that Raje's unwillingness was one of the reasons which delayed the announcement of nominees on the last list.

Raje's stock declines

According to political analysts, unlike before, Raje's say in the party has declined. "Her importance in the party has become slightly less because central leadership somehow knows that people were not happy with her in Rajasthan. Which is why all major decisions related to Lok Sabha polls are being taken by central leadership," senior journalist and political analyst Rajendra Bora told DH. 
Similarly, in Dausa the party is yet to finalise its candidate owing to two factions fighting for their respective candidates. Interestingly, here also Raje is backing the candidature of O P Hudla or Jaskaur Meena, while the sitting Rajya Sabha MP Kirori Lal Meena is seeking renomination or fielding his wife Golma Devi from the seat.
The BJP has so far declared 24 candidates out of 25 in Rajasthan, which will go to polls in two phases on April 29 and May 6. In 2014, BJP swept all 25 Lok Sabha seats but later in 2018 bypolls it lost two to Congress.