Vasundhara Raje continues to ruffle feathers in Rajasthan politics

Why former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje — who seems to be engaged in promoting ‘Brand Raje in the desert state – is allowed to repeat her mistakes again and again by the central leadership?

This seems to be the million dollar question in Rajasthan politics at present, with senior leaders openly discussing the matter ever since Raje and her team launched the ‘Vasundhara Jan Rasoi’ campaign to distribute food and water to the needy, without using either the BJP symbol ‘lotus’, nor the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Interestingly, the saffron party is also running a similar campaign across the nation called ‘Seva Hi Sangathan’ to help the needy to mark the completion of seven years in power at the Centre, on the directions of BJP national President J.P. Nadda.

However, Raje, following the trends of last many months, preferred to endorse ‘Brand Raje’ yet again by promoting ‘Vasundhara Jan Rasoi’ in different parts of the state such as Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Karauli etc., maintaining a distance from BJP’s programmes.

Earlier, she had kept herself away from campaigning for the bypolls to three seats in the state. In fact, her followers reportedly dented the party’s prospects to win two of the three seats, besides reducing the winning margin in Rajsamand.

Several ‘Team Vasundhara Raje 2023’ posts are going viral on social media endorsing Raje as the CM face for the next Assembly polls scheduled in 2023.

Party sources said that the BJP had helped Raje serve in all the top positions, right from being an MLA, MP, Union minister (twice) to being the Chief Minister of the state twice, and many more.

For two decades, there was a one-woman empire in the state which many feel killed the prospects of senior leaders like Jaswant Singh, Manvendra Singh, Kirorilal Meena and Ghanshyam Tiwari, among others.

However, this time, when the party has allotted her a profile of BJP national vice-president, Raje is insisting to be a part of Rajasthan and is showing no keenness in joining the central team of the party.

Also, ever since the state leadership was handed over to Satish Poonia, an RSS worker, Raje has enhanced her distance and difference with the state party headquarters.

Sources said that Raje is denting the party’s prospects by playing a lead role from behind the curtains. Many also blame her for the party’s poor show in the recent bypolls and in the local municipal elections.

So the question doing the rounds in state’s political circles is why the central leadership is silent despite knowing Raje’s ‘game plan’?

Is it searching for some avenues so that she can be named the Governor or party in-charge for any of the states? Is Raje planning to float her own party?

However, state BJP leaders maintained that the Centre is well aware of all the tactics of Raje.

“Politics is the name of compromise. Things will settle down in the coming months once the party figures out decent avenues for senior leaders of such cadres,” a senior BJP leader told IANS.