BJP forces Vasundhara Raje to go on back foot

Jaipur: The BJP has forced the former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to go on the back seat and the party is not using her effectively for the Lok Sabha election campaign.

Vasundhara Raje remains the tallest leader of the saffron party in the state and she played a key role in the nomination of the party’s candidates, but following her differences with the party’s high command and BJP election in charge for the state Prakash Javdekar over the electoral adjustment with the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) leader Hanuman Beniwal, Vasundhara is annoyed with the party’s high command.

BJP’s Vidhan Sabha election failure largely because of the personal unpopularity of the former Chief Minister and at one stage the party was tottering at 50 seats in a house of 200 when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party’s president Amit Shah campaigned aggressively to improve the tally and the BJP could win 74 seats.

After that defeat, Vasundhara lost her clout in the central leadership, however, she remained the most sought after and respected leader in the state. But the party for the Lok Sabha election is sparingly using her and she is confined to her house in Jaipur and at the most have gone to two-three constituencies.

What is surprising is the Congress leaders during the campaign rarely talk about the governance of the last BJP government in the state and the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot do not attack the BJP taking her name. Vasundhara Raje was keen to contest the Lok Sabha election, but the party did not consider her.  In Chhatisgarh, while Raman Singh’s son was denied the ticket, Dushyant Singh a three-time MP from Jhalawar is contesting again.

The Congress has pitted Pramod Sharma, a weak candidate against him. The nomination of a weak candidate like Pramod Sharma was questioned even by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi who received several complaints against Sharma’s nomination. But the party decided not to change the candidates.

Vasundhara Raje has been assigned the task of spearheading the party’s campaign in Maharashtra has not taken an active part in either ticket distribution or campaigning. She is keen to be in her home turf and help the party in the campaign.

The party has received several requests from the candidates to send Vasundhara Raje for campaigning as she still remains popular, but the party normally do not entertain such requests. The party’s campaign is headed by Prakash Javdekar and is supported by Sudhanshu Trivedi and Ashok Rai Khanna.

The BJP is sitting pretty and the party is focusing on Modi for its electoral success. Vasundhara is known to be strategist on policy affairs, but she did not like the party’s decision on electoral adjustment with RLP and she did not take part in any of the party’s meeting on campaign.

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