'Achche din' for RSS-backed leaders in Rajasthan BJP, Satish Poonia could be the new party chief

After Om Birla's elevation to the Lok Sabha Speaker post, the BJP state unit is expected to see massive changes.

Published: 21st June 2019 10:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st June 2019 10:58 PM   |  A+A-

Amer's MLA, Satish Poonia. | Express Photo Services

Express News Service

JAIPUR: It's ' achche din' for RSS backed leaders in Rajasthan BJP. 

After Om Birla's elevation to the Lok Sabha Speaker post, the BJP state unit is expected to see massive changes. 

People from the Sangh are expected to take over major posts after being sidelined for a long time.

There are speculations of Amer's MLA, Satish Poonia to be made the state party president in place of Madan Lal Saini. 

He also fits in the social engineering calculations.

Former union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore's name is also in the mix along with deputy leader of the opposition, Rajendra Rathore. 

But Poonia has caste factor working in his favour also he has been the General Secretary of BJP Rajasthan for 4 terms consecutively. 

His RSS background gives his chances a further boost. He has been active in state politics for a long time but was not able to get any relevant posts because of internal tussles. During the last 15 years, Vasundhara camp ensured that none from the RSS background get any prominence.

But now Raje has been sidelined from active state politics.

Political analyst Narayan Bareth says that Poonia is a low profile leader and comes from Jat community which is considered politically very strong. "Jat community has been unhappy with both political parties that none of their leaders has been given any importance at the top posts . BJP might try to appease them by making Poonia the state head as he automatically becomes the top choice for the Chief Minister's post "

"Very few leaders have reached such heights that Poonia has started from student politics. He has no controversies attached to him and has a clean image. Such disciplined leaders help in politics." 

Bareth also added that Rajputs have already got representation with Gajendra Singh being made the minister at the centre and BJP will try to balance the equation by appeasing Rajput rivals, Jats." added Bareth.

In 2018, BJP lost 2 Lok Sabha and 1 Vidhansabha seats in the by-polls and Raje's close aide, Ashok Parnami had to step down from the party President's post.

At the time when party President Amit Shah wanted Gajendra Singh Shekhawat to be made the new state President but Vasundhara Raje rejected the idea as she felt that it would upset the Jat community. 

After a delay of 72 days, Amit Shah had to take a step back and agree with making Madan Lal Saini as the new Rajasthan BJP President. BJP lost the Vidhan Sabha elections in the state but won convincingly sweeping all 25 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

Sources in the party say that now the party High command wants to give the reins to a young and active person who has a low profile. Poonia's name has been discussed for some time now after Jodhpur MP Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was made the cabinet minister and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla was also selected from Rajasthan.

Former Central Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore and Deputy leader of the opposition Rajendra Rathore both hail from Rajput community and with Gajendra Singh Shekhawat already cabinet Minister from the community, their chances become slim.

Dalit leader Arjun Meghwal has also been made a Central Minister, appeasing the community.

Now it is expected that the state president might be either from the Brahmin or Jat community. But Jats have dominance over 30 seats in the state, thus Poonia's chances are high.

"Poonia is a low profile leader and has been a loyal party worker as well", said a party leader on the condition of anonymity".

"BJP is a democratic party and there is a membership campaign before the election of the state President under the guidance of high command. The membership process will start from 5th July and will run till August," said Mukesh Pareek, BJP party spokesperson.

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