It’s ‘united’ Congress Vs fractured BJP in Rajasthan bypolls

The by-polls being held on three seats of Rajasthan on April 17 are being looked upon as semi-finals of Assembly election 2023 as the results are being perceived as a report card for the ruling government, busy showing its ‘united’ face and the opposition, which appears to be divided.

The bypolls are scheduled in Sahada, Sujangarh and Rajsamand districts of the state on April 17.

While the Congress has been successful in putting out a ‘united face’ with both the Gehlot camp and former deputy CM Sachin Pilot camp jointly campaigning at election rallies, the BJP seems fragmented with former CM Vasundahra Raje nowhere in the picture, right from campaigning to nomination.

Congress sources confirmed that Pilot has found favour in the Gehlot camp looking at the strong Gujjar majority in three of the two seats where bypolls are scheduled. Also, BJP sources confirmed Raje has been deliberately maintaining a distance from election proceedings despite a strong message given by Rajasthan in-charge Arun Singh, who asked all senior leaders to evaluate how they are contributing to the party.

The united face of party was evident when Pilot’s picture was put on the stage at the eleventh hour in Sujangarh on Tuesday. However, none of the MLAs of his camp who lost their portfolios has been accommodated in the Gehlot ministry again, despite promises made to them by the high command in July last year after the political crisis in Rajasthan.

So, even as the Pilot camp keeps up appearances, Raje and her followers are quietly scripting quite another story which is evident on social media posts on a group called Team Vasundhara Raje 2023. Posts on the group have questioned the absence of their leader in posters designed for the bypolls in the three districts.

Those responsible for Raje being absent from posters shall soon go missing from these posters, says one of the posts on the group.

However, BJP leaders confirmed that there is a set protocol when it comes to posters. While the PM and party president’s pictures are carried everywhere, these are followed by the CM/state president/ leader of opposition whatsoever is the case. Hence there should be no politics over this.

On the other side, PCC president Govind Singh Dotasara has been tweeting pictures presenting a united face of the party concealing hidden grudges. In fact, during rallies organised in Sujangarh, Sahada and Rajsamand, all leaders including Rajasthan in charge Ajay Maken, former deputy CM Sachin Pilot as well as CM are seen together.

While the fissures of BJP are out in open, it’s a million dollar question whether Gehlot will be successful in keeping the face of the divided Congress hidden?