A group of BJP leaders has expressed strong reservations over any likely move by the party's central leadership to project Vasundhara Raje as its chief ministerial candidate or state unit president.
Over 20 leaders, including former MP Ramdas Agrawal, deputy leader of opposition Ghanshyam Tiwari and MLAs Gulab Chand Kataria and Vasudev Devnani, held a closed-door meeting on Sunday with Kaptan Singh Solanki, the party's affairs-in-charge for Rajasthan.
Sources said that the leaders at the meeting pressed hard for their demand that the party desist from declaring its chief ministerial candidate before the elections.
"A leader who is associated with the party's ideology should only head the party," Tiwari said. "It is the party which will contest elections, not a personal face, so the central leadership should take a decision after considering all the facts," he added.
Solanki assured that he would communicate their feelings to the top leadership in New Delhi, sources said.
They said the party's central leadership wanted to project former chief minister Raje as its chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming state assembly elections which is being opposed by BJP leaders of RSS ideology.
With incumbent state BJP chief Arun Chaturvedi's three-year tenure coming to an end, the search for a candidate for the top party post in Rajasthan has intensified.