By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, June 13 (IANS) There is a full blown factional war raging in the Rajasthan Congress and the BJP these days with the veterans in both the parties showing reluctance in handing over power and positions to their juniors.
While Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been delaying since months the much-awaited political appointments and cabinet expansion to accommodate the young leaders like former deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, former Bharatiya Janata Party Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje is also refusing to give in to the new state leadership. She is running her parallel programmes to keep her hold intact on the state, which she has ruled twice as Chief Minister.
Looking at the full blown confrontation between the old guard and the younger lot, there are fair chances of a third party emerging which might dent the two party system which the state has seen since decades.
It has just been the Congress and the BJP ruling the state where power keeps shifting from one to the other every five years.
However, these days, looking at Raje launching her own campaigns such as the ‘Vasundhara Jan Rasoi’ and the Office of Raje Twitter handle, there are open discussions if she will contest individually in the coming elections. Recently, her posters have been removed from the state party headquarters.
Sources said that her teams are active on social media under the banner Team Vasundhara 2023 in each district projecting Raje as the next Chief Ministerial face of the state.
Similarly, there are apprehensions if the rebel group led by Pilot may walk away to contest individually if he doesn’t get his promised rights.
Pilot has openly accused the AICC team of ignoring the promises made to him and his team after a patch up with the party and returning to its fold, post rebellion last year.
Pilot’s strength is his strong hold on the eastern belt of the state where the BJP lags behind due to the absence of any strong leader from the region. Hence, his dominance in this region makes him pivotal and he can be a kingmaker if he decides to go for a divorce with the ruling party.
However, he has already denied plans of joining the BJP.
On Friday, when senior BJP party worker Rita Bahuguna said that she has extended an open invitation to Pilot, the latter said that she might have spoken to Sachin Tendulkar and not to him, quashing the speculation about his joining the saffron party.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders said that what is going on is just an eyewash and more things shall unfold in the coming days.
Next in the fray is another Jat leader Hanuman Beniwal, convenor of the RLD and Nagaur MP, who has broken his ties with alliance partner NDA over the farmers bills issue and fielded three candidates in the recent by-polls for the Rajsamand, Sahada and Sujangarh seats, thereby hurting the prospects of both the BJP and the Congress.
If he decides to field his own candidates in the next assembly polls he might win over the Jat voters, hurting both the Congress and the BJP in the state.
As the raging factional feuds hit both the Congress and the BJP, questions are being asked if the state can see any kingmaker in the coming polls, bringing in new political equations.
By Archana Sharma