Vasundhara Raje appeared to have earned more than a temporary reprieve in her role as Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan. On Friday, many of BJP’s top leaders who make up the party’s parliamentary board failed to agree on forcing her out from that office as agreed among themselves.
Raje still seemed to have the last laugh after dodging a two-month old fiat to quit — in spite an earlier endorsement by the board of party chief Rajnath Singh’s call to her to step down.
Singh asked her to go for the BJP’s poor showing in the assembly polls first, and then later in the Lok Sabha polls.
With no leader willing to come on record after the more than three-hour discussion on Raje’s future, speculation was rife about her continuation in that post for a period ranging from a week to until the election of the next BJP chief when Singh’s term ends this year.
Some BJP officials said the issue could come up again at the next board meeting on October 22. They, however, added that since by-election to assembly seats in Rajasthan are due on November 7, no decision could be expected then too.
Many senior leaders including Murli Manohar Joshi, Bal Apte and Venkaiah Naidu, who was authorised to secure her resignation, remained absent at the meeting.
The crux of the issue — before the top leaders like L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley — was whether her resignation was the “real” solution when she continued to command the loyalty of a sizeable majority of BJP MLAs.
Rajnath Singh did appear to be upset that other BJP leaders were willing back him to get Raje out when it was all supposed to be part of a pact worked out with the RSS.