It’s ‘rich royalty’ vs ‘grass-roots loyalty’ in Raj BJP

By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, Feb 2 (IANS)
The infighting in the Rajasthan unit of BJP is out in open as a clear-cut fight is on between former CM Vasundhara Raje, who represents erstwhile royalty, and state BJP chief Satish Poonia, who represents the grass roots and is a known loyalist of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
Raje has been camping in Delhi for the last one week, meeting all top central BJP leaders while Poonia has been meeting the grass-roots workers in Rajasthan and chalking out strategies to win the Assembly polls in 2023.
Raje is anguished with the central and state leadership for denial of decent positions at any level to her camp followers while Poonia and his team are engaged in forming maximum number of boards after springing a surprise on the ruling Congress by winning 25 of the 90 boards and leaving the Congress with mere 19.
If sources are to be believed, Raje has been allotted a well-defined room with her name plate in the new BJP office in Delhi. However, she has not visited this office even once.
However, she is quite active on Twitter these days, offering comments on state politics.
Also, her followers recently floated a parallel platform called ‘Team Vasundhara Raje 2023’ wherein they are portraying her as the next CM face. However, Raje is all silence, neither accepting this group nor offering any denial.
Meanwhile, the central leadership, as per the BJP officials, are aware of all these developments, but are giving Raje respect by putting her on the BJP’s high-powered core committee for the state unit, which accommodates both central and state unit teams.
BJP national General Secretary Arun Singh had instructed that the core group meetings must be held once a month. However, Raje was absent in the first meeting held on January 24.
While Raje is a topic of discussion for her absence in Rajasthan BJP office, her meetings with senior central leaders in Delhi is another talked-about subject.
Raje had an hour-long meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah late Monday evening which did led to another round of political buzz in the desert state.
In last one week, she has met BJP chief JP Nadda, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Rajasthan incharge Arun Singh.
Meanwhile, a BJP spokesperson told IANS: “She is a respected leader of our party and we want her to attend meetings and events and be a regular part of the state unit.”
However, in her absence, the work has not seen full stops. Rather, the party is busy strengthening its grass-roots leadership and chalked a strategy to reach each household ahead of the Assembly polls.
“We shall reach out to each person mentioned in the voters lists and will strengthen the personal bond with each voter. His challenges and his problems will be resolved by our leaders who will be assigned the task to look after each voter mentioned in the lists.”
This way, we shall strengthen our grass-roots leadership and make strong bonds with our people, said Poonia.
Meanwhile, an MLA from the Raje camp said: “She needs to do aggressive politics to ensure smooth sailing in this battle of one-upmanship. She basically follows an aristocratic style of politics and it is quite weak when it competes with grass-roots politics.”

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