The Rajasthan BJP held a crucial core group meeting in Jaipur on Tuesday which was attended by former chief minister Vasundhara Raje. The meeting is being seen as an attempt at a patch-up between Raje and state BJP president Satish Poonia.
Raje’s attendance at the meeting in Jaipur after a long hiatus of six months led to much speculation as she had skipped the first core group meeting on January 24 due to personal reasons. This was the first time Raje has attended a meeting which was presided over by Poonia who became state president in September 2019.
Rajasthan incharge Arun Singh was also present at the meeting where the party’s strategy for the upcoming four assembly by-polls and the need to put up a united front for the upcoming by-polls was discussed.
Raje who has attended barely a handful of meeting in the BJP office in Jaipur in the last two years, arrived over an hour late for Tuesday’s meeting. Raje came from Delhi to Jaipur by road and turned it into a show of strength as she was stopped at several places en route and felicitated by party workers.
Raje returned to Jaipur from Delhi after several weeks. In Delhi she met several senior party leaders including union home minister Amit Shah. At the BJP’s National Office Bearers meeting on February 21, Raje met prime minister Narendra Modi.
Poonia also attended the meet in Delhi where party leaders are said to have advised both factions to resolve their differences.
Speculation about Raje being sidelined in the state politics has been doing the rounds since a long time.
The meeting also comes in the backdrop of Raje loyalists becoming increasingly vocal in demanding her return to centre-stage in the state’s politics. Some of her supporters have been demanding that she be declared the CM face for the 2023 assembly polls.
Raje is also planning to launch a religious yatra from Bharatpur on March 8, which also happens to be her birthday.
Arun Singh had announced the core group for Rajasthan in January in a bid to stop the infighting among leaders in the state. The core group has 12 members including Raje in an effort to balance all the opposing camps. Singh also stated clearly that the CM face of the party would be decided by the BJP’s Parliamentary Board and not by social media.