Raje facing opposition from party colleagues

November 4th, 2008 - 4:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Jaipur, Nov 4 (IANS) Resentment is brewing in Rajasthan BJP over the choice of the next chief minister. Though the central leadership of the party has projected the present chief minister Vasundhara Raje as the next CM of the desert state, murmurs can be heard in the state BJP against the choice. What is worrying for the party bosses is the fact that its chief minister is becoming increasingly unpopular among her own colleagues and party members. While some complain about her style of functioning, which they feel is autocratic, the others are of the view that she is not easily approachable.

“We want a leader with whom we can be in constant touch. We do not want a person who does not have time for us. Raje may be a good leader but we have seen her 5 years tenure and seen how unapproachable she has been”, a BJP worker said, on condition of anonymity.

“We never liked her style of functioning. She still behaves like a Maharani (Queen). She loves sycophancy and has an autocratic style of functioning. We do not want her as the chief minister”, said another BJP worker.

Vasundhara Raje has also seen many of her senior colleagues, including ministers, rise in open revolt against her. Some party members also level corruption charges against her.

A section of her Cabinet colleagues were also reportedly angry about the style of her working and they had threatened to resign from the government. However, timely intervention by the central leadership did help in solving the crisis. But scars still remain.

Raje remains an ‘outsider’ for them. According to them, the chief minister is not in the habit of taking collective decisions on important matters.

“A chief minister should be elected democratically and should not be imposed,” said a senior BJP leader.

And if sources in the state BJP are to be believed then even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is not happy with the BJP’s choice of chief minister.

RSS does not seem to be pleased with Raje’s liberal image, as the Sangh feels it undermines Hindutva.

The state BJP leadership denies any dissension over the choice of the chief minister. “We are united and we are going to fight elections under the present leadership of Raje”, Om Prakash Mathur, state president of the BJP said.

However, from senior leaders like L.K. Chaturvedi, former state president of the BJP and H.S. Bhabra, former deputy chief minister in the B.S. Shekhawat cabinet, to displeased Gujjars and to some extent, the Meenas, there are a host of potential spoilers for Raje in Rajasthan.

Rajasthan, which has 200 assembly seats, goes to polls December 4. Presently, BJP with 121 seats rules the state and the Congress, with 53, is the main opposition party.

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