Raje climbs down, but will still have say in party affairs | india | Hindustan Times
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Raje climbs down, but will still have say in party affairs

In an apparent climb down, Raje agreed to “abide” by any decision of the BJP’s highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2009 00:40 IST
Shekhar Iyer

Vasundhara Raje will now decide on the timing of her exit as the Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly.

She will, perhaps, also have a say in who’s named her successor — a compromise formula was worked out between her and party chief Rajnath Singh, which was endorsed by the BJP parliamentary board on Sunday evening.

In an apparent climb down, Raje agreed to “abide” by any decision of the BJP’s highest decision-making body, the parliamentary board.

In turn, Singh agreed not to press for her resignation with immediate effect.

Instead, he accepted the board’s view that she be allowed to exit with “honour” without any deadline or tag that she must own up for the party’s poor showing in the elections.

Senior BJP leaders worked behind the scenes to nurse the bruised egos of both Singh and Raje, who had put up a banner of rebellion along with her MLAs for the last three days; and Singh had insisted that she must go, without a delay.

He had earlier wanted Raje to resign before the party’s chintan baithak (meeting) in Shimla on August 19.

“There is no deadline or time limit in politics,” Singh told reporters in reply to questions by what date she should put in her papers. “But I did tell her that she must quit.”

Apparently, Raje settled for a compromise at a closed-door meeting with six MLAs. They apprehended desertion of more MLAs from her camp as the central BJP was “dead set” on her removal.

Back in Jaipur, however, confusion reigned.

While her supporters said Raje had not been asked by the high command to resign, the detractors maintained that this was false bravado.

Around five-six MLAs met at Raje’s residence on Sunday morning to discuss the situation. MLA Gyan Deo Ahuja, who attended the meeting, said there was no question of Raje resigning.

“There was no formal meeting. A few of us (MLAs) paid her a courtesy call.

Between 55 and 65 legislators are still supporting her. She has not been asked to resign. If that was the case, why did Rajnathji (Singh) not fax or phone or mail her (Raje) asking for her resignation?” he said.