Why is BJP working under so much pressure in Rajasthan?

It is going to be ten days since the results of Rajasthan Assembly elections are declared. Even after that, neither the meeting of the legislature party has been called nor the name of the leader has been revealed. Whereas BJP has achieved absolute majority by winning 115 seats. There is discussion in political circles that due to the lobbying done by former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to become the Chief Minister, the process of choosing the new leader of the legislature party is on hold. Vasundhara Raje went to Delhi and met the party’s national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah and had a long discussion on the politics of Rajasthan.

An incident that took place in Jaipur recently has shocked senior BJP leaders. Hemraj Meena, father of newly elected BJP MLA Lalit Meena from Kishanganj in Baran district, himself a former MLA, told the media in Jaipur that his son MLA Lalit Meena along with five MLAs from Baran and Jhalawar districts have been lodged at Hotel Apno Rajasthan, located on Sikar Road in Jaipur. They have been forcibly kept and are not being allowed to come home. Hemraj Meena told the media in front of the BJP office that when I went to the hotel to pick up my MLA son Lalit Meena, MLA Kanwarlal Meena forcefully said that we will let him go only on the request of Jhalawar MP Dushyant Singh. After that, Hemraj Meena called the police and created a ruckus at Hotel Apno Rajasthan, only then he could bring his son Lalit Meena along.

Hemraj Meena also informed BJP state president CP Joshi, organization general secretary Chandrashekhar and party’s state in-charge Arun Singh about keeping the MLAs in the hotel. However, MLA Kanwarlal Meena termed the accused of former MLA Hemraj Meena as a liar and said that we all stayed there on our own will. No one had forced us to stay. When some unknown people came and started taking away Lalit Meena, we did not let them take him and when Hemraj ji Meena came to take his son MLA Lalit Meena, we sent him along with him. This incident in Jaipur alerted the BJP high command and they realized that everything is not going well in the state. Inside, Khan is trying to play a new game.

After Vasundhara Raje returned from Delhi to Jaipur, about a dozen MLAs came to meet her. Which is being promoted by the Vasundhara group as a show of strength. Former MLA Prahlad Gunjal of Vasundhara faction says that only an experienced leader should be made the Chief Minister who can handle Rajasthan well. In Rajasthan, BJP has no more popular face than Vasundhara Raje.

At the same time, from what is coming out from the political circles, it seems that the BJP high command is in no mood to make Vasundhara Raje the Chief Minister for the third time. The most negative thing for Vasundhara Raje is that after becoming the Chief Minister twice, her party lost the elections both times. In 2003, Vasundhara Raje became the Chief Minister with a majority of 120 seats. But in 2008, the party’s seats had reduced to 78. Similarly, in 2013, Vasundhara Raje became the Chief Minister with a majority of 163 seats. But in 2018, BJP’s seats had reduced to only 73.

Party leaders believe that at the time of elections, Vasundhara Raje forms the government on the strength of anti-incumbency of the Congress government. But even when he is the Chief Minister, there is huge resentment among the common people towards his government and he has to be removed from power. This time the party high command wants such a person to be made the Chief Minister who can repeat the government again after five years. But Vasundhara Raje is adamant that she does not want to allow anyone other than herself to hold the post of Chief Minister.

However, Vasundhara Raje has come on the back foot after Vasundhara Raje’s MP son Dushyant Singh was accused of barricading the party MLAs. He met party president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi and his MP son Dushyant Singh was also with him. It is discussed that he has also given clarification on the allegations of barricading of Dushyant Singh. Meanwhile, four BJP MPs, Dr Kirodi Lal Meena, Diya Kumari, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Baba Balaknath, have resigned from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

This time it is taking more time than ever before to form the BJP government in Rajasthan. Therefore doubts are arising in the minds of people. However, party president JP Nadda has appointed Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Rajya Sabha MP and National Vice President Saroj Pandey and BJP National General Secretary Vinod Tawde as observers for Rajasthan. Who will meet the MLAs of Rajasthan and take opinion polls and call a meeting of the legislative party.

Rajnath Singh coming to Rajasthan as an observer says a lot in itself. Rajnath Singh is considered the most heavyweight leader in BJP. His image has been that of a trouble shooter. Rajnath Singh, who has been the national president of the party twice, is capable of handling every kind of situation. That is why he had to be sent as an observer to Rajasthan. Anyway, Rajnath Singh was the leader who addressed the maximum number of rallies after Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the Rajasthan Assembly elections. He has personal contacts with all the leaders of the state.

Vasundhara Raje has also worked with Rajnath Singh for a long time. Therefore, after Rajnath Singh became the observer, it is being speculated that he knows how to handle Vasundhara Raje well. The one whom the party has decided to make the Chief Minister will be chosen as the leader of the newly elected legislative party of BJP. It is possible that in the coming time Vasundhara Raje may be included in the Union Cabinet. At present she remains the national vice president of the party. In such a situation, it has to be seen that the factionalism that has developed in BJP even before the formation of the government. Whether the party is able to eradicate it or not will be known only in the future.

-Ramesh Saraf Dhamora

(The author is an independent journalist recognized by the Government of Rajasthan. His articles are published in many newspapers of the country.)

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