Jaipur: The factionalism in the Rajasthan BJP seems to be growing stronger. A letter by 20 MLA considered to be close to former chief minister Vasundhara Raje has highlighted the rift in the party.
The letter written by the MLAs to state party president Satish Poonia two days back, alleged that some senior leaders were being ignored and there was bias in allocation of time to MLAs to raise issues of public interest in the house.
They urged Poonia to instruct Kataria and deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore to allot equal time to all party MLAs.
The issue also came up during the during the BJP legislature party meet on Wednesday when MLA and former assembly speaker Kailash Meghwal had a heated argument with leader of opposition in the assembly Gulab Chand Kataria.
During the meeting on Wednesday, Raje and her supporting MLAs were present but all chose to remain mute spectators.
Meghwal, who is considered close to Raje, broached the issue of partisanship in allotting time to party MLAs to speak in the house. Kataria and deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore offered Meghwal to start the reply to the budget in the house. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot presented the budget for 2021-22 in the house on Wednesday.
However, Meghwal failed to turn up for the Question Hour or the Zero Hour nor the debate on the budget in the assembly on Thursday. He had put a question during Question Hour but that remained unanswered as he was not present in the house. His absence is being seen in context of the dispute on Wednesday.
Pratap Singh Singhvi was the only MLA from the Raje camp who spoke on Thursday. He moved an adjournment motion and raise the issue of encroachments in the catchment area of the Ramgarh dam on the outskirts of Jaipur.
The issue of the letter written by the MLAs also came up during Rajasthan incharge Arun Singh’s visit to Jaipur on Tuesday for the party’s core committee meeting.
Singh downplayed the matter, saying that those who have grievances should talk within the party rather than writing the letter.
However on Wednesday, Meghwal once again raked up the issue. He targeted Kataria and said that allotting time to speak on the floor of the house was the job of the party chief whip and questioned why Kataria had not appointed a whip till now.
Meghwal also pointed out that Kataria is holding two posts, that of leader of opposition and head of the public accounts committee in the assembly and said he should resign from one post.
An upset Kataria retorted that he was not running after any post.
“I don’t have love for any post. If you have a problem with me, tell the person who has given me this responsibility and I will resign at once,” he said.
Rathore said the complaint of the 20 MLAs would be addressed and they would have to take the responsibility to speak on the reply to the budget in the house and Meghwal could reply on the budget.