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Delay in naming Rajasthan unit chief may hit BJP’s poll preparations

The BJP’s preparations for Rajasthan assembly elections, slated for the year-end, have hit a pause button for the past five days after state president Ashok Parnami resigned, said sources familiar with affairs of the party

jaipur Updated: Apr 22, 2018 21:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,BJP chief,Poll preparations
Rajasthan BJP president Ashok Parnami resigned after he was appointed as a member of the BJP’s national working committee.(HT Photo)

The BJP’s preparations for Rajasthan assembly elections, slated for the year-end, have hit a pause button for the past five days after state president Ashok Parnami resigned, said sources familiar with affairs of the party.

Parnami resigned after he was appointed as a member of the BJP’s national working committee.

Party leaders admit that the delay in the election of a new president is creating confusion among workers. In addition, the state BJP is divided over the front runners for the post, who include union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Ram Meghwal.

According to sources, there is a difference of opinion between the party’s central leadership that backs Shekhawat and the Vasundhara Raje camp that favours state social justice minister Arun Chaturvedi or urban development and housing minister Srichand Kriplani.

Senior leader Devi Singh Bhati has opposed the proposal to appoint Shekhawat or Meghwal. He said Shekhawat’s election would isolate the Jats, and that Meghwal had no influence over the scheduled caste voters.

Bhati is believed to have spoken on behalf of the chief minister camp, but sources say the central leadership is not in favour of appointing Chaturvedi or Kriplani.

“The central leadership is not in favour of appointing a ‘yes man’ who doesn’t take an independent stand on the issues. The new party unit chief is expected to take some tough decisions to strengthen the party organisation ahead of the elections,” a BJP leader said.

Meanwhile, the daily media interactions that were happening at the state BJP headquarters have stopped. Senior leaders too have little clue as to when the new president will be announced, though the official party line is that it will happen “in a day or two.”

Sources said BJP chief Amit Shah was busy with Karnataka elections, and the chief minister too was touring the state.

BJP’s media cell in-charge Anand Sharma said, “The new president will be appointed soon and there is no effect on the functioning due to the delay in the announcement of Parnami’s replacement.”

The BJP is believed to be facing a stronger challenge in Rajasthan, underlined recently in its loss in the bypolls to two Lok Sabha seats and one assembly seat. The party is looking to revamp its organisation in the poll-bound state, and some district presidents may face the axe once the new president takes charge, sources said.

First Published: Apr 22, 2018 21:51 IST