The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership refused to blink first and managed to win the standoff with Vasundhara Raje, for now.
But the party did not set a deadline for the 56-year-old former Rajasthan chief minister and BJP senior leader Raje’s exit from the post of leader of the opposition in the assembly.
As it became evident that Raje’s resignation was just a matter of time, her loyalists, who till Sunday evening insisted that she would not step down, kept a low profile on Monday.
One of her spokespersons, Gyan Deo Ahuja, said, “The party high command has not given any deadline for her to quit and so, she will not resign immediately. It is between Vasundharaji and the high command to decide when she should step down.”
He said after a meeting of Raje loyalists at her residence on Monday that it had been decided to call a meeting of the BJP legislature party by August 26, ahead of the assembly session at the end August.
Another Raje loyalist, Rajendra Rathore said, “There is no time limit for her resignation. So it could extend for six months to a year.” He said the 57 MLAs who had pledged support to her would meet to decide on their next move.
But Raje critics are jubilant. Former party president Ramdas Agarwal said with Raje’s exit ensured, the high command would decide on her successor after the party’s August 19-21 chintan baithak (brainstorming session) in Shimla.