50 Raje loyalists offer to quit; yatra cancelled

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • |
  • Updated: May 06, 2012 11:30 IST

The feud in the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Rajasthan unit intensified on Sunday with around 50 MLAs loyal to former chief minister Vasundhara Raje submitting their resignations to quit the party and the assembly, prompting BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to call an emergency meeting in New Delhi on Monday to resolve the row.

The development came a day after Raje, the leader of the opposition, threatened to quit the BJP objecting to a political campaign proposed by senior party leader Gulabchand Kataria.

Kataria's campaign, titled Lok Jagran Yatra, was seen by a section in the party as a move to project himself as the BJP's chief ministerial face for assembly polls due next year.

Following Raje's threat, Kataria, who was home minister in the previous government headed by Raje, cancelled his yatra "in the larger interest of the party".

On Sunday morning, several party leaders and MLAs gathered at Raje's residence and shouted slogans in her support. They also demanded she be declared the undisputed chief ministerial candidate.

Meanwhile, senior party leaders LK Advani and Arun Jaitley talked to her over phone on Sunday to mellow her down.

"This is the party's internal matter. We will sort it out among ourselves," Raje told mediaperons after the phone calls.

In Delhi, BJP's chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad also tried to play down the crisis, saying Raje is a senior leader of the party in the state and things will be resolved internally.

The BJP has a strength of 79 members in the 200-member assembly.

 

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Rajasthan: Vasundhara Raje threatens to quit BJP

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