BJP national vice-president and ex-CM of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje is out in the field and showing her strength with a 4-day tour of six districts of south Rajasthan known as the Mewar region.
The yatra was seen as an attempt to reassert her position in the state BJP However, Raje clarified that the tour had nothing to do with politics. ‘Parties are speculating that this yatra is political, but it is wrong to associate everything with politics,’ said Raje while addressing a gathering after offering prayers at Sanwaliya temple in Chittorgarh district on Tuesday at the start of the yatra.
Raje said ‘this yatra is not political. My daughter-in-law was ill for the last 10 months and due to her illness I could not come to express my condolence on the death of some of our colleagues and their relatives, so now I have come.’ She said that she will visit the families of those who passed away during COVID-19 and pay homage and will visit the religious places that come on the way.
Though Raje is terming it a religious-social yatra there is a strong buzz that this is an attempt to show her popularity in the public. The party officials are keeping themselves away from this yatra but her loyalists are putting all their efforts to make it a big show. Kalu Lal Gurjar a minister in her tenor said ‘people love Raje and that is why crowd is coming wherever she is going.’
The timing of her yatra is also important considering that her party has recently lost two by-elections miserably and that too in this very region. The seats of Vallabhnagar and Dharivad are part of this Mewar region. Raje was one of the star campaigners of the party for the by-elections but did not campaign due to her family issues.
The leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria who is the biggest face of the party in the Mewar region is not accompanying Raje in her yatra. Kataria questioned the timing and said in media ‘it is a common practice to go and pay homage to the deceased’s family, but if Raje had done it a little earlier, it could have been more impactful but now it is creating suspicion.’
Notably, Raje will visit eight prominent temples in Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Banswara, Rajsamand, Bhilwara and Ajmer. Raje will conclude the tour at the Ajmer Dargah. Raje visited temples in Bharatpur on her birthday in March and flood-affected areas of Kota and Jhalawar in August.