By Archana Sharma
“I make ground visits, not aerial surveys.” This statement of Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia is being seen as a sarcastic remark in political circles on former chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s aerial surveys of flood affected areas, bringing forth factionalism which runs deep within the party.
Raje recently toured the flood affected areas in a helicopter after many regions in Rajasthan specially Hadoti region witnessed heavy rainfall causing floods and large scale damage.
On Monday, when Poonia was asked if he will tour the flood-affected regions, he said, “I do land tours, but not air. (Main zamini daure karta hoon, Hawai nahin).”
This statement of Poonia is being seen as a comment on Raje.
This is not the first time when a senior leader has targeted another senior party leader in Rajasthan.
Meanwhile Raje, speaking to media persons at her home constituency Jhalawar on the concluding day of her three-day tour to flood-affected areas, commented on the removal of her posters from the state party headquarters soon after taking a copter tour.
Hitting back at the poster controversy for the first time, she said, “I don’t believe in the politics of posters, but want to rule and dwell in the hearts of the people.”
Recently, posters carrying Raje’s pictures were removed from the state party headquarters.
Further, when a Rajasthan MPs and state organisation meeting was called in New Delhi recently, her posters were yet again missing, though she was sitting on the dais.
Raje said that when she joined politics, her mother, Rajmataji told her that the five fingers of the hand are not the same. “So when you visit the villages, you need to unite people into a family with love for each other, despite there being differences of diverse kinds. Hence, I always intended to carry out work that can endure in their memories and hearts,” Raje added.
The two groups in Rajasthan in the BJP unit — one led by Raje and another by Poonia, have been at odds with each other despite being warned by senior party leaders to put up a united show.
Raje has been maintaining a distance from the party office ever since Poonia was announced as the state BJP president.