By Archana Sharma
Even during the pandemic times, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje seems to be walking on a track parallel to the Bharatiya Janata Party, exposing her growing differences with the saffron party.
She is seen escaping the programmes scheduled by BJP workers and promoting the programmes being organised under her solo banner.
No matter if it is the question of distributing food and water in different parts of the state or attending the virtual party meetings, Raje and her team members are seen endorsing ‘Brand Raje’ in all these programmes.
Recently Raje and team, with the aim to distribute food and water to the needy, launched a campaign “Vasundhara Jan Rasoi” in different parts of the state in which neither the BJP symbol “lotus” nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pictures were seen.
What raised eyebrows is the time chosen to launch this event as the saffron party is running a similar campaign across the nation called ‘Seva Hi Sangathan’ to celebrate the seven years — first term and two years of the second term — of the Modi government on the directions of BJP National President JP Nadda.
So what is the need for Raje starting this campaign under her own name during the pandemic, questioned a senior BJP worker.
As the aim and objective of both the programmes are the same, why are they being run under two different banners in the desert state, he questioned.
On Friday MLA Kalicharan Saraf, a Raje loyalist, distributed food to the needy in Jaipur under Vasundhara Jan Rasoi.
On the same day, MP Manoj Rajauriya also inaugurated this campaign in Karauli and distributed food packets to the needy.
In fact, Raje’s campaign was recently launched in Sawai Madhopur too, but all camps had one fact in common — none of them had any BJP symbol or any picture of PM Modi or any other leader but Raje’s picture was being seen at the centre.
Besides this effort of Raje to start her own campaign, there are other issues too being discussed in political circles, which include her continuous absence from the party office, her distance during the campaigning for the by-polls held on three seats recently in the state and her silence and distance on/ from attending party virtual video conferences.
Recently, BJP MLA Gautamlal Meena passed away and all MPs and MLAs attended a virtual meeting to pay tributes to the departed soul but Raje was absent from this meeting.
A separate message was shared by her media team condoling the death of Meena.
In fact a group called Vasundhara Raje Team 2023 actively running on Facebook since the last few months demanding Raje be the CM face was blocked recently.
However, on May 26, the group admin wrote on Facebook wall questioning if the group should be started again.
He also informed that the group was blocked for some special reasons. While the followers were seen questioning the reasons, many amongst them expressed their desire to restart the group.
Raje, these days, is attending virtual meetings of Jhalawad workers and is taking special care of those seats since she is the MLA while her son Dushyant Singh is MP.
Also, she is attacking Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on the deteriorating law and order situation in Rajasthan, retweeting tweets of BJP National President JP Nadda. She is also quite vocal on all burning issues, giving indications that her silence on her sidelining should not be taken for granted and those thinking to write her off should change their thinking.
Maybe the BJP should take cognisance of the issue and intervene to heal this rift in the party as it gets going to win the 2023 polls, said a BJP state worker.
BJP state president Satish Poonia meanwhile said that Raje has been a senior party worker and we all respect her. It is the central leadership which can speak on all these issues for she is BJP national vice president, he added.