Rajasthan polls: Shah, Nadda hold meets to iron out differences within state unit
Union home minister Amit Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda held the meetings ahead of the declaration of the party’s first list of candidates for the Rajasthan polls
Union home minister Amit Shah and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda held a series of meetings, including with former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, in Jaipur on Wednesday and Thursday as part of attempts to iron out differences between state leaders ahead of the declaration of the party’s first list of candidates for the Rajasthan polls.
The BJP has released lists of candidates for the other two states due to go to the polls this year—Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The differences between the state leaders are believed to have been among the reasons for the delay in finalising candidates for the polls in Congress-ruled Rajasthan.
The fresh set of meetings is seen as an attempt to reach out to disgruntled leaders and convince them to set aside their differences and project unity within the BJP ranks.
People aware of the matter said the BJP’s parliamentary board was due to meet in Delhi to finalise the first list of candidates for the Rajasthan polls.
Against this backdrop, Shah and Nadda flew to Jaipur on a special plane on Wednesday. BJP general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh earlier arrived at noon and held a meeting at the party’s state headquarters.
Shah, Nadda, and Santhosh met Raje after her absence from the BJP’s Parivartan Sankalp Yatras to drum up support ahead of polls triggered speculation about a rift within the party amid an ambiguity about her role.
Member of Parliament (MP) Diya Kumari, who did not have any scheduled meeting with the central leaders, met them for about 10 minutes before a three-hour core committee meeting began around 8pm.
State BJP chief CP Joshi, Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Kailash Choudhary and Arjun Ram Meghwal, Raje, leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore, MP Rajyavardhan Rathore, and state election in charge Pralhad Joshi were among those who attended the meeting.
People aware of the matter said the central leaders emphasised the need for unity within the party. They asked the state leaders to work together. Managing rebels was among other things discussed at the meeting.
The people said the party’s chances on all 200 seats were discussed along with the strategy for winning those the BJP has not won in the last three polls.
Shah, Nadda, and Santhosh discussed the strategy for each seat on the basis of the internal survey at a separate meeting with the state in charge.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed public meetings in Chittorgarh on October 2 and in Jodhpur on October 5 were also discussed. He earlier addressed a public meeting to mark the culmination in Jaipur on September 2 of the BJP’s four pre-poll yatras.
Assembly elections in Rajasthan and four other states, accounting for roughly 15% of India’s population, this year are expected to set the tone for the 2024 national elections.