BJP's national leadership has asked Rajasthan state leaders to stay united and ensure that the party’s MLAs remain together.
With Sachin Pilot deciding to return to the Congress fold after an assurance from the party high command to look into his grievances, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan is now making efforts to keep its flock intact ahead of the Assembly session. The BJP had convened a legislature party meeting in Jaipur on Tuesday, but has now deferred it in view of Janmashtami. It said all the 72 MLAs are likely to attend the meeting. The party had moved 19 MLAs to Porbandar over the weekend and said that it would be difficult for the MLAs to reach Jaipur today.
We had called for a legislature party meeting today. As some of our people are in Gujarat and won’t be able to reach today, also tomorrow is Janmashtami. So, everyone suggested that the meeting should be held after Janmashtami: Satish Punia, BJP Rajasthan President pic.twitter.com/z84cYN3R9N
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— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2020
The Indian Express reports that the BJP’s national leadership has asked the state leaders to stay united. The leadership has asked former CM Vasundhara Raje to ensure that the party’s MLAs remain together.
Raje has maintained a distance from the activities in Jaipur and has been in the national capital for the last two days. She has held meetings with BJP chief JP Nadda and general secretary (organisation) BL Santosh. The report said that Raje told them that the state unit had been ‘sidelining her and did not keep her in the loop’.
Raje although clarified to the leadership that she has no intention to hurt the party’s interests, the former CM said that she wanted the state leadership to coordinate with her.
However, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Gulab Chand Kataria, said that the state party unit has always kept Raje in the loop.
“I speak to her everyday. I spoke to her today also. She told me that she is waiting for the Covid test report as one of her household staff tested positive. She will be here for the meeting if the test report is negative,” Kataria told The Indian Express.
On party MLAs, he said that all are united and will meet in Jaipur on Tuesday. “We will see that all our MLAs are here (in Jaipur) for the legislature party meeting. We are confident that all of us are together,” he said.
Kataria while maintaining that the opposition never attempted to pull down the government, said that the party will wait for the Supreme Court’s order on the BSP MLAs joining the Congress.
“We have been maintaining that it’s an internal issue of the Congress, and we have just been watching as an opposition party. We never had anything to do with it and we never even wanted to make the effort to form the government. Because we did not have, and we do not have, the numbers,” he said.
The IE report said that Raje had maintained that Sachin Pilot lacked the numbers to pull down the Ashok Gehlot government and any support to the Congress rebel camp will only hurt the BJP. Raje had maintained silence ever since Sachin Pilot’s revolt against Ashok Gehlot was out in open. There were speculations that she was helping the Gehlot government. Perhaps, this prompted her to seek meetings with the BJP’s top leadership and she clarified her stand.
The IE report said some state party leaders had complained to the leadership against Raje. BJP ally Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) leader Hanuman Beniwal had earlier publicly accused her of helping Ashok Gehlot.
The BJP has 72 MLAs in the 200-member House. It also enjoys the support of three RLP members.