Just an act of devotion, no power play at birthday bash, says ex-Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje

Speaking to the media in Khatushyamji in Sikar on Monday, Raje said, “It was not a show of strength, but devotion. It is not right to publicise it in the media as a show of strength.”

Published: 07th March 2023 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2023 07:28 AM   |  A+A-

Vasundhara Raje

Former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje (File photo| PTI)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: Former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje has denied that her birthday celebrations held on March 4 in Salasar in Churu district was a show of strength, claiming that it was just an ‘act of devotion’. Over 50,000 people had gathered for the event, and as per her aides, dozens of prominent BJP leaders turned up to congratulate her.

Speaking to the media in Khatushyamji in Sikar on Monday, Raje said, “It was not a show of strength, but devotion. It is not right to publicise it in the media as a show of strength.”  Raje said that she does not need to organise a show of strength.  “The same question is asked to me every year around the same time, but in the last three years, my Dev Darshan Yatra goes on as usual.  The event was organised on March 4 as Holi is falling on March 8,” she said.

Last year also, a grand event was organised on her birthday at Keshavraipatan in Bundi district. A large number of BJP MLAs and MPs as well as other leaders associated with the party had participated in it. 
Incidentally, this time, in an apparent bid to counter Raje’s event, a protest was organised on the same day by the state unit of the BJP against the Ashok Gehlot-led government on the issue of an alleged paper leak. It was led by her arch rival Satish Poonia, the president of the BJP’s Rajasthan unit. 

Instructions were issued to all party MLAs to participate in the protests. The Raje camp claims that 12 MPs, 52 MLAs and 118 former MLAs of the party went to congratulate Raje. To convey the message of solidarity, BJP’s state in-charge Arun Singh too reached Salasar to congratulate her.

The factionalism in Rajasthan BJP is hardly a secret. There are about half a dozen contenders for the post of the Chief Minister even as the state goes for Assembly polls later this year. The ongoing tussle between Vasundhara Raje and Satish Poonia is well-documented.  

Home Minister Amit Shah and Arun Singh have said that the polls year will be fought under the collective leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This wouldn’t have pleased Raje’s supporters who have been clamouring for the CM’s post for her for long. 

Political analysts believe that by holding the grand rally in Salasar, Raje has given a befitting reply to her opponents in the party and also sent a message of her popularity to the central leadership.  


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