Jaipur, March 9 Is former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje planning to float her own party?
Speculations are rife as Raje during her two-day long religious yatra in the eastern belt of the desert state continued praising her mother late Vijayaraje Scindia and herself but refrained from talking about the policies introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Further, the presence of Independent MLA Omprakash Hudla, and MLA Rajendra Guda, who contested polls on Bahujan Samaj Party's ticket and then joined Congress, at her yatra have caused raised eyebrows.
Discussions are on in political corridors about whether Raje is gearing up to float her own party.
A parallel organisation "Team Vasundhara Raje" has already been active on social media over the last few months and announcements of district president and state-level office bearers were also being made from time to time.
This team was active in preparing for their "Queen's" birthday too, which was celebrated on Monday. A huge gathering was seen in Bharatpur on this occasion which included former MLAs and MPs. Also, around 15 MLAs-MPs marked their presence at the birthday bash.
This "show of strength" came on the back of BJP National President J.P. Nadda's visit to Jaipur a few days before the yatra.
Nadda's visit was marked by a call for self analysis for all BJP leaders to assess how they have been contributing to the party.
However, Raje openly ignored the message of party leadership.
At a time, when the Jodhpur MP and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat is burning midnight oil in Bengal strategising the party's chances for the crucial Assembly polls there starting March 27 to April 29; Leader of Opposition and his deputy Gulabchangd Kataria and Rajendra Rathore are handling the ongoing Assembly sessions and other BJP team members are preparing for upcoming bypolls on four seats of Rajasthan, Raje has been promoting her own yatra and has been busy promoting her brand name and value.
Throughout the yatra, Raje did not even speak on BJP policies but continued praising herself and her mother, said a BJP worker talking to adding that it seemed she was openly challenging the central leadership by flouting what they said.
While Kataria and Rathore have been criticising Gehlot government for the spike in crime rate in the state and other burning issues in the Assembly, Raje has been seen openly praising Gehlot and his government at different places.
She has been maintaining a studied distance from the Assembly and when she is there, she is never seen raising any significant issue, said another worker.
Sources from BJP said that she and her team dented party's votebank during panchayat and local municipal bodies elections and even recently, there were plans to instigate in-fight when senior MLAs shot a letter to party president alleging that they were not allowed to speak in Assembly.
All these issues have cropped up at a time when state organisation general secretary Chandrashekhar is in Bengal, union minister Arjunram Meghwal is in Puducherry and state president Satish Poonia is busy taking tours for bypolls scheduled on four assembly seats, they added.
So it makes it all the more evident that she seems to have plans of her own and hence is busy promoting 'Brand Raje', said a BJP worker.
BJP State president Satish Poonia said that it was up to the central leadership to decide on the matter. "I shall continue to work on the principles set by the party for the benefit of the party."
( With inputs from IANS )
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