Billgates6060 2012-05-07 13:35:34Rift in Rajasthan BJP, 40 legislators offer to resign
The rift within the Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajasthan unit widened Sunday after over 40 legislators offered to resign in favour of senior party leader and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, sources said. The party's central leadership, however, sought to play down the division, saying it will be resolved internally.
The simmering differences within the party had come to the fore Saturday evening when Raje resigned from the party's primary membership over senior BJP legislator Gulab Chand Kataria's 'Lok Jagaran Yatra'.
Demanding that the yatra be cancelled, Raje stormed out of the party's core committee meeting in Jaipur and announced her resignation. Katariya had called off the yatra immediately after Raje's threat, however, party sources said that political tug-of-war is yet to finish.
'Over 40 legislators including Kalicharan Saraf, Digamber Singh, Gyan Dev Ahuja, Rohitashva Sharma, Ashok Parnami and Mohanlal Gupta offered their resignation to Raje by afternoon. They met her at her Jaipur residence where a series of meetings are being held,' said a senior BJP leader pleading anonymity.
'The political differences have put the party's headquarters in New Delhi on high alert keeping in view the state assembly elections in Rajasthan next year. Senior party leaders in New Delhi are in contact with Raje and state president Arun Chaturvedi,' said the leader.
The core committee meeting was being held Saturday to decide upon the date of the commencement of Katariya's yatra. Sources said that Raje was in favour of yatra being postponed while Katariya was adamant on continuing his plans and flag it off May 9.
'There had been differences between Raje and Kataria in the past. Katariya was avoiding party meetings recently to mark his protest,' said another senior party office-bearer.
In New Delhi, party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Raje had already indicated that any rift will be resolved with internally.
'It is internal matter of the party. It will be resolved internally,' he said.