RSS intervenes as critics flay Vasundhara Raje

    By IANS,

    Jaipur : Rajasthan state BJP president Vasundhara Raje’s style of work has drawn criticism from her colleagues, forcing the RSS to intervene to try sort out growing differences within the party.

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    Senior BJP leader Ghanshyam Tiwari, a leading Brahmin leader, recently kicked off a row with a tweet in which he took a swing at meetings held by Raje at her palace in Dholpur district.

    The former chief minister has been meeting party colleagues of different districts of the state at Dholpur to discuss preparations for the assembly elections scheduled for f the year-end.

    The meetings started Aug 22 and were to continue till the first week of September in Dholpur.

    Not everyone is backing Tiwari. One leader said Tiwari didn’t attend any of the meetings at Raje’s Dholpur residence and he was not part of the BJP ‘Suraj Sankalap Yatra’ of Raje in the state.

    Raje was named the new chief of BJP’s state unit in February. Since then factionalism has come to the fore in the state.

    In an effort to placate senior leader Gulab Chand Kataria, who was at loggerhead with her, the BJP named him leader of the opposition in the assembly.

    Earlier, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the BJP’s ideological mentor, had also opposed Raje’s appointment.

    A section of the BJP strongly feels that Raje should not be allowed to become the chief minister again — in case the party succeeds in ousting the Congress in the state.

    Tiwari, who quit as deputy leader of the opposition in the house over her elevation, has reportedly stepped up his campaign against Raje.

    Some pamphlets distributed in the state on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan charged Raje with an undemocratic way of functioning.

    Informed sources said three senior Rajput leaders of BJP have met BJP president Rajnath Singh complaining about the working style of Raje, who was Rajasthan’s chief minister from 2003-08.

    Another anti-Raje figure, former BJP spokesperson Sunil Bhargava, has also told Rajnath Singh that Raje was encouraging factionalism within the party.

    A copy of Bhargava’s letter has been accessed by IANS.

    A former member of the BJP national executive, he said party activists were feeling ignored and confused about their role in the upcoming assembly election.

    Bhargava, a source said, had urged Rajnath Singh to intervene to “save the party”.

    “The party’s efforts to come to power in the 2014 Lok Sabha election will be realised only when it wins the assembly election in states. But in Rajasthan, it seems difficult for the party to win as the workers are in a state of confusion,” said Bhargava.

    A worried RSS has now reportedly asked Raje not to hold any more meetings at her palace in Dholpur, and instead host them in Ranakpur and Jaipur.

    Rajasthan apart, the other three states set to go to the polls in November are Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. While the Congress rules Delhi and Rajasthan, the other two are governed by the BJP.