Vasundhara Raje, spearheading BJP's campaign in Rajasthan with her ongoing yatra, is not just citing the Gujarat model for development at her public meetings. Her speeches show a distinct Modi-like style.
As her Suraj Sankalp Yatra enters its last phase, she repeatedly raises questions about Congress chief minister Ashok Gehlot. After studying his response, she comes with even more questions on every issue - power crisis, fluoride content in drinking water, plight of farmers and women, health care, jobs and industrial growth.
Amid cutouts of her and Modi, BJP workers do not forget to shout slogans, "Raje for CM and Modi for PM."
Like Modi, she rattles off data, which prompts Gehlot and the Congress to accuse her of propagating false figures.
She is projecting herself as a tough leader whose term as CM between 2003 and 2008 is the "best governed phase." BJP spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman, who is involved in her campaign, said, "she is surely setting the agenda and the CM is hard pressed to compete. There is an overwhelming groundswell for her."
Even an “independent” Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan may follow her and adopt similar tactics. He is already facing trouble with his ministers battling scandals goes the buzz in BJP. Chouhan had held a long talk with Modi in Goa in June.
Raje's woes of dealing with her BJP rivals may be ebbing, claim her aides. With Nitin Gadkari set to take overall charge, four BJP-RSS officials are working to soften those who are still against Raje. Arun Jaitley has already been “guiding” her. “She is concentrating on her campaign and left it to them to sort any problem,” said an insider.
Modi will wrap up her yatra with a big rally in Jaipur in August. By then, she should have traveled 13,500 km and touched all 200 assembly seats. It was flagged off BJP president Rajnath Singh in April.