Jaipur, Nov 22 : The BJP’s consecutive losses in by-polls and municipal elections have left the party red faced highlighting the deep factionalism prevalent in the party.
With former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje maintaining a distance from party activities since last many months and her loyalists failing to ensure the success of BJP candidates in the local elections, whispers are circulating among party workers that all is not well within the state BJP.
Raising this concern, BJP MLA Kailash Meghwal said: “There has been too much factionalism happening within the party which the party heads need to look into.
“BJP seems sulking going towards defeat”, he said referring to the party’s recent losses in by-polls and municipal elections.
The statement, by a senior leader who has served as Speaker in the state assembly and Union Minister earlier, is being discussed internally, although party leaders are tightlipped about it.
Raje has not at all been seen around either for campaigning or for strategising.
In fact, soon after the appointment of Satish Poonia as state BJP chief in September, Raje’s keeping distance from the party office and party affairs became very evident.
In the recent municipal body polls, her loyalists failed to win even in their home turfs. Rajendra Rathore who is the MLA from Churu and presently the deputy leader of opposition, Kiran Maheshwari, former Ministers Yunus Khan and Shrichand Kriplani representing Deedwana and Nimbaheda, respectively, could not help the party win the local elections.
Soon after the bypolls held in October, Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal accused the Raje camp of denting the BJP’s vote share and helping the Congress, which reduced its winning margin to a mere 4,000 votes.
Meghwal further said that Mandava defeat with a margin of over 30,000 votes is a shame for the party when the party candidate had won this seat 10 months earlier.
BJP state president Satish Poonia, however, denied any kind of factionalism in the party.
“Mandava, since years, has been Congress seat. We won once there in the December 2018 assembly elections. However, Narendra Kumar is now MP as he won Lok Sabha elections. Our party, following its principle, did not give a ticket to his son. In Khinvsar, our alliance won the elections,” Poonia said.
“If these election results, as termed by Congress, show people’s trust in party, then why did the enable BJP win elections with majorities in Udaipur, Bikaner and Bharatpur?”, he asked.
State Congress Minister Pratap Khachriyawas told IANS that BJP has been facing major factionalism.
“Although they have been attacking Congress on factionalism, but it has failed to set its own house in order which is clearly seen in the bypolls and municipal election results. They talk big but the ground work remains zero. Even as an Opposition, they have failed to make a mark,” he said.
(Archana Sharma can be reached at [email protected])