Bringing to fore the feud in Rajasthan BJP, its leader Gulabchand Kataria has called off his 'Lok Jagran Yatra' following differences at a core committee meeting which saw Leader of the Opposition Vasundhara Raje threatening to quit the party and walking out the meeting in a huff.
Raje said she would resign from the party's membership if Kataria did not withdraw his decision, after which Kataria announced not to go ahead with his proposed 28-day yatra.
Kataria calls off yatra as Raje threatens to quit
At the meeting attended by senior party leaders, Raje was understood to have objected to Kataria's plan to take out the 'Yatra'.
She said party workers are always important and if they are not happy with any decision, such a decision should be dropped.
Raje told reporters before leaving the party office that she would resign from the party if Kataria did not withdraw his decision.
BJP sources said that after differneces with Kataria, Raje said in the meeting "I should resign" and left.
Soon after that, Kataria also came out of the meeting and announced he will not be taking out the Yatra "in the interest of the party".
"I am a disciplined member of the party and I am not above the party. The party members are unhappy with my decision. So, I announce cancellation of the Yatra in the party's interest," he said.
BJP leaders, including national secretary Kirit Somaiya, state president Arun Chaturvedi, deputy leader of the Opposition Ghanshyam Tiwari, MLA Kiran Maheshwari were also present at the meeting which began in the evening.
Kataria had earlier announced he would undertake a 28-day 'Lok Jagran Yatra' in the tribal belt of the state.
After the meeting, Maheshwari, MLA Kalyan Singh and a few more office-bearers announced their resignation from the party's membership in support of Vasundhara Raje.
"If Raje resigns, we also resign from the party. Along with me, party's office-bearers Srichand Kriplani, Dhan Singh Rawat, Dhanraj Sharma (Pratapgarh district BJP president), Gajendra Chauhan (Dungarpur district president), C. Joshi (Chittorgrh district president) and Bhagwat Puri (Banswara district president) also announced they would resign," Maheshwari told PTI tonight.
She said Kataria should have taken the party in confidence before announcing the yatra. "When the party members are not happy with his yatra, which he made an ego issue, why did he not cancel the yatra earlier?,' she said.
Asked why she and others with her resigned even after Kataria's announcement to cancel the yatra, she said "it was not his own decision. He announced under pressure when Raje said she would resign. It is not acceptable," she said.