JAIPUR: That BJP chief Amit Shah and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje are not on the same page regarding the Rajasthan Assembly election is a well-known fact. Now, it has emerged that at a meeting on October 31 in Delhi, Shah rejected names of candidates proposed by Raje for 85 seats in Rajasthan.
BJP’s state election in-charge Prakash Javadekar and several members of the BJP’s state core committee were present at the meeting. Shah insisted on ticket allocation based on ground reports from the hinterland, and he asked the core committee to prepare a fresh list with three probable candidates for each assembly seat.
Incidentally, the Rajasthan state core committee has members from anti-Raje camp such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh general secretary Chandrasekhar, state party vice-president Satish Poonia, Union minister Arjun Meghwal, state home minister Gulab Chand Kataria and national vice-president Om Prakash MathurAfter marathon discussions, the state-level election core committee came up with a list of probable candidates for the total 200 seats in Rajasthan. BJP insiders said 70 seats had one candidate each, 50 got two and the rest had three or more names.
But, Shah is again reported to have disagreed with the list that was submitted to him on Friday. In Delhi, a BJP functionary said Shah told the state unit that it could submit one name against an Assembly seat for up to 50 constituencies, while there should be at least three probables against the remaining 150 seats in the state.
The Central Election Committee will be meeting next week to finalise the list of candidates for Rajasthan, according to the party insiders. With barely a little over a month left for the election, more than 90 sitting MLAs now fear that they won’t get poll tickets this time.
Aware of the BJP’s troubles, Congress state chief Sachin Pilot took a jibe on the ruling party. “If the BJP’s central leadership does not have faith on its MLAs, then on what basis will the party will seek mandate from the people?” he said.“It’s the failure of the BJP and the central government, and they want to punish their MLAs for their own failures. The people have made up their minds to throw the party out, irrespective of whether the faces are changed or not,” the Congress state president added.