Ladpura (Kota) MLA Bhawani Singh Rajawat has stirred controversy by raising the issue of senior leader Lal Krishna Advani being ignored within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during a party meeting in Kota on Saturday.
In the meeting attended by Rajasthan BJP in-charge Avinash Rai Khanna, Rajawat also cited a lack of representation of BJP leaders from Kota in the state party unit and the state government, with no minister from the area either in the state cabinet or an office-bearer in the state executive body.
The state-level meeting held in Kota on Saturday was called in view of the ‘Mahasampark Abhiyan’ (mega-mass contact drive) and the ongoing municipal poll campaign in the state. Speaking at the meeting, Rajawat said he has read former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani’s biography which talks about how he used to go around town on a bicycle linking people with the Jansangh and also how he later strengthened the BJP, and yet he said that same Advani was being ignored in the party now. He said this fact pained him.
Rajawat said the general feeling among local party workers was that despite a thumping victory in the last Lok Sabha, assembly and Kota Municipal Corporation (KMC) elections, there was insufficient representation of the local unit in the state executive body or the cabinet.
“In the era of the Jansangh and even during former state governments of the BJP, there were around four-five leaders in the party state executive, and also several ministers from Kota were in the state cabinet, but presently there is no general secretary or secretary in the state executive and no minister in the state government,” he said.
A three-time MLA from Ladpura (Kota), the ministerial position has always eluded Rajawat. However, he said, “I do not want to become a minister, but there should be some minister from Kota.”
Rajawat seems to be controversy’s favourite child, often hitting the news with his outbursts, ranging from threatening voters during the last KMC polls to locking horns with local officials or even criticizing laws on wearing helmets while riding. After expressing his view on the current form of the BJP, Rajawat stormed out of the meeting.
State in-charge Khanna later launched a veiled criticism on Rajawat saying a disciplined party worker would not leave in the middle of a meeting. Denying all allegations, Khanna told mediapersons that no senior leader of the party was being ignored.
Regarding Rajawat’s dissatisfaction with the lack of representation, he said there is a system established within the party whereby someone becomes a chief minister, minister or party president, but that at the end of the day, they were all party workers.
During the meeting, Khanna called upon all party workers to sign more members to the party under the mega-mass contact drive to ensure the BJP’s victory in the ongoing municipal polls in the state.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Narayan Pancharia, Kota MP Om Birla, Sangod MLA Heeralal Nagar, Kota city district BJP president Hemant Vijayvargiya and other local BJP leaders.