Vasundhara Raje pushes her candidate as state BJP chief

The BJP may have secured a thumping victory in Rajasthan in the Lok Sabha polls, winning all 25 seats in the state, but the party is facing massive internal strife over the selection of its state unit chief.

Sources said former chief minister and regional satrap Vasundhara Raje has been pushing for her own candidature for the top post in the state, but this is facing severe opposition from top central leaders, causing a delay in the appointment.

The sources said that the continued rift between the Raje camp and the central leadership had already ensured that the state BJP unit has been without a president for almost three months. The post of Rajasthan BJP chief fell vacant after the death of Madan Lal Saini on June 24.

It is understood that Ms Raje has been trying to push her candidature for the crucial post for the last several weeks and has been holding talks with senior BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders.

“The central leadership is, however, not too keen on giving the crucial post to her again as the party had lost power in the state last year when she was chief minister and had led the party into the Assembly polls,” the sources added.

It is learnt that the BJP’s central leadership wants to groom young and more committed leaders in the state who are able to devote adequate time to serving the organisation.  Ahead of the Assembly polls too, the state had witnessed a similar spat between  the central and state leadership over the appointment of the state party chief.

Saini was apparently a compromise candidate as the central leadership could not push through its favoured candidate Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. This time, however,  the central leadership seems to be in no mood to give in to Ms Raje’s demands.Interestingly, Ms Raje had served as Rajasthan BJP chief in 2003 but had to vacate that post after the BJP came to power and she was sworn in as chief minister.

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