Rajasthan: No decision on BJP state chief due to Raje-Shah differences

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje [File] Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje | PTI

The election campaign is in full swing in the two BJP-ruled states, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The chief ministers of these two states are already carrying out yatras and holding rallies as elections are six months away. But in the third BJP ruled state Rajasthan, which will also go to elections along with the other two, is yet to witness a full-fledged campaign activity from the saffron party.

The party is yet to appoint a new party president in the state owing to the difference of opinion between state Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and national BJP chief Amit Shah.

Shah and Raje met in Delhi to discuss about the election campaign. The party decided to launch election campaign at the earliest, yet no announcement has been made about the state president. Its been over two months since state chief Ashok Parnami, considered close to Raje, had put in his papers. But a replacement could not be made as Raje has been reluctant to go with the names suggested by Shah.

Sources said that talks were on to resolve the issue as it was not sending a good signal. The announcement may come soon. The current Union minister of state, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, is the front-runner for the post. He is currently Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur. Shekhawat is Narendra Modi and Shah's pick for the post.

The issue of appointment of state chief is important since the chief plays an important part in the selection of candidates and campaign which can affect the chief minister's hold over the state unit. Currently, Raje has a strong grip over the state MLAs as most of them have been her choice. Any change in the candidate selection can impact her future prospects, sources explained. She has jealously guarded her turf despite opposition from within the saffron party and the Sangh circles.

Former Rajasthan chief minister and Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot tweeted, saying the BJP in Rajasthan is in a “pathetic situation” and CM Raje and Shah were unable to solve the differences.