Jaipur: The rift within the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajasthan unit widened Sunday after over 40 legislators offered to resign in favour of senior party leader and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, sources said.
The simmering differences within the party had come to the fore Saturday evening when Raje resigned from the party’s primary membership over senior BJP legislator Gulab Chand Kataria’s ‘Lok Jagaran Yatra’.
Demanding that the yatra be cancelled, Raje stormed out of the party’s core committee meeting in Jaipur and announced her resignation. Katariya had called off the yatra immediately after Raje’s resignation threat, however, party sources said that political tug-of-war is yet to finish.
“Over 40 legislators including Kalicharan Saraf, Digamber Singh, Gyan Dev Ahuja, Rohitashva Sharma, Ashok Parnami and Mohanlal Gupta offered their resignation to Raje by afternoon. They met her at her Jaipur residence where a series of meetings are being held,” said a senior BJP leader pleading anonymity.
“The political differences have put the party’s headquarters in New Delhi on high alert keeping in view the state assembly elections in Rajasthan next year. Senior party leaders in New Delhi are in contact with Raje and party’s state president Arun Chaturvedi,” said the leader.
The core committee meeting was being held Saturday to decide upon the date of the commencing of Katariya’s yatra. Sources said that Raje was in favour of yatra being postponed while Katariya was adamant on continuing his plans and flag it off May 9.
“There had been difference between Raje and Kataria in the past. Katariya was avoiding party meetings recently to mark his protest,” said another senior party office-bearer.