The BJP has decided to hold a meeting of its office-bearers in Rajasthan instead of Gujarat or Himachal Pradesh, which will go to polls in December this year, for a number of reasons. Just two days before the BJP conference, the Congress organized a think tank in Udaipur and the saffron party wanted to surpass the event that attracted Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and the ruling party. And the purpose of organizing the Conclave in Jaipur was to create another opportunity to deal with cracks. As part of this effort, President JP Nadda has made three visits to the state in the last few weeks. He was on a two-day visit to Ganganagar and Hanumangarh in Rajasthan on May 10-11, before attending a three-day meeting of office-bearers from May 19-21.
Nadda met senior Rajasthan BJP leaders in Delhi on April 19 – former chief minister Bashundhara Raje, state unit chief Satish Punia and water power minister Gajendra Shekhawat.
The difference in the BJP Rajasthan unit could be an obstacle for the party in the 2023 Assembly elections. Raje, Punia, Shekhawat and former Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria are said to be rivals for the Chief Minister’s post.
Raje is back in action and was at the forefront of the BJP conclave. The then Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot was far from what happened when he revolted against CM Ashok Gehlot and threw eggs at the former to bring down the BJP government. Raje was kept in Jodhpur though senior leaders of the state unit claimed that he was kept in the loop for discussions at the party meeting on development. Raje, who is a national vice-president, was present at all the functions along with BJP chief JP Nadda during a three-day conclave in Jaipur from May 19-21. The only BJP leader who is following Pan-Rajasthan, Raje will play a key role in the party’s campaign in the run-up to next year’s assembly elections. . Rumors of his return to active duty began almost four years after the BJP lost the last state elections in 2018 when he attended the swearing-in ceremony in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Raje also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Parliament House during the budget session.
Rajasthan is known for voting for those in power and it has given the BJP hope to return to power in 2023. It won 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2014 and 2019. There was significant dissatisfaction against Raj during the 2018 state elections, but the situation seems to have improved since then. In the past, Raje has thwarted efforts by the BJP central leadership to appoint leaders of his choice in key positions in the state. His inaction or opposition to the next election could hurt the party.