Ahead of next year’s assembly polls, the BJP has started putting its house in order in Rajasthan and will contest under a collective leadership. The BJP has conveyed to the state leaders that the Assembly polls will be fought collectively under the brand name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership feels that the decision on collective leadership will bring all the factions together and control factionalism. To bring everyone together, the BJP central leadership is planning to assign responsibilities to top state leaders including former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who is at loggerheads with the state leadership.
A senior party functionary said that there is a clear message from the central leadership for a united state unit and collective leadership in Rajasthan. “The party central leadership has conveyed to the Rajasthan unit and leaders to stay together and end the constant in-fighting and as far as elections are concerned the party needs to focus on the central leadership.”
Factionalism is rampant in the Rajasthan BJP and the central leadership, while gearing up for next year’s assembly polls, feels that this is the time to present a united face to take on the opposition.
Sources said that the Rajasthan unit has been told that Prime Minister Modi will lead from the front and they should not be concerned about the leadership issue, it will be taken care of by the central leadership.
“Citing the success in the recent assembly polls in four states, the central leadership said that it was won by the party on Brand Modi and he will be in focus during the assembly elections next year,” a senior BJP leader said.
The state leaders were also asked to take a united stand against the Ashok Gehlot government and on other issues concerning the state. “Rajasthan BJP leaders have been asked to take a united stand on all issues and it should be similar. Party programmes and events should be attended by all and they should not indulge in a blame-game,” a party insider said.
The BJP central leadership has already had a meeting with the key leaders of the state to discuss the party’s poll preparedness.
In the past, supporters of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje had formed a Vasundhara Raje Samarthak Manch Rajasthan’ with the demand that she be declared the party’s chief ministerial face for the 2023 elections.
After the defeat in the 2018 assembly polls, Raje was sidelined and there are continuous reports of differences between Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia and her. This has been a constant worry for the BJP central leadership.
During the second half of the budget session of parliament, Raje was in Delhi to meet the central leaders and also attended the swearing-in ceremony of Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.