JAIPUR: The BJP infighting in Rajasthan has intensified following a clash between two senior leaders at the BJP Legislature Party meeting on Wednesday.
The sharp exchange involved former Speaker Kailash Meghwal and leader of the Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria, an RSS senior, who threatened to quit. Meghwal is considered close to former CM Vasundhara Raje, who was present when the altercation took place. She remained silent during the verbal duel.
In the battle of supremacy, the state BJP is torn between Raje loyalists and her RSS critics. Sources said in the Legislature Party meeting, Meghwal accused Kataria of bias while selecting party MLAs to speak in the Assembly. Last week he and 19 party MLAs had raised the issue in a letter to the state BJP chief.
Meghwal questioned why the party had no chief whip in the Assembly. He raised the issue of the party’s ‘one person one post’ principle. He pointed out that the leader of Opposition was also chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and questioned why one was holding two posts.
Kataria rejected the charge of discriminating against some MLAs, including Pratapsingh Singhvi (a signatory in the letter).
“If you (Meghwal) have problems with me, inform those who gave me this responsibility. If need be, I will not take two minutes to resign. But I will serve the party with loyalty.”
While the two senior leaders clashed, Vasundhara Raje kept her silence. Observers say the issue is not about speaking in the Assembly but is a test tool for the leadership conflict in the party.
Raje neither spoke in the core group meeting nor in the Legislature Party meeting. This is now being linked to the battle of leadership between the Raje and the RSS camps.