6 MLAs close to Raje skip meet

Factionalism in the Opposition BJP came to the fore when all the six party MLAs skipped the workers’ meet in Bharatpur on Friday, which state BJP president Arun Chaturvedi and deputy leader of the Opposition Ghanshyam Tiwari addressed. The party in-charge for Rajasthan Kaptan Singh Solanki has already said Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Vasundhara Raje will be the party’s face in the next Assembly elections but her supporters have been insisting that she be given a free hand in the state.
The senior party functionaries, who reached Bharatpur from Jaipur, surprised everyone when none of them turned up for the workers’ meet.
According to the party sources, MLAs Digambar Singh (also a former minister), Anita Singh, Vijay Bansal, B.S. Koli and Gyarsi Lal were conspicuous by their absence at the workers’ meet. The sources said those who skipped the meet were considered close to Ms Raje.
The party’s Bharatpur unit was enthusiastic about the programme and left no stone unturned to make it success. The party leaders played down the absence of the MLAs, saying the legislators had informed the party and were busy with their already scheduled programmes. However, two of them said they were not properly informed about the workers’ meet.
Mr Solanki has indicated that the party’s parliamentary board will decide who will be the party’s chief ministerial candidate. Ms Raje’s supporters have welcomed Mr Solanki’s statement but it has annoyed the RSS-backed faction. “It could be Mr Solanki’s personal opinion,” said a senior BJP functionary.

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Central cong leaders check preparations
AGE CORRESPONDENT
jaipur, JAN. 5

Senior Congress leaders from Delhi took stock of the preparations for the party’s chintan shivir to be held in Jaipur on January 18-20. Party leaders Ahmed Patel, Janardan Dwivedi, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Mukul Wasnik, who arrived here on Saturday, drove straight to Khasa Hotel. They visited the places marked for the brainstorming session and accommodation for leaders and had a meeting with Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
Mr Dwivedi told mediapersons that they came here to inspect preparations and discuss it with leaders. It was the second such visit when senior leaders from Delhi visited Rajasthan to discuss preparations.
Party leaders said the brainstorming session will be crucial ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
According to party sources, the party leaders had a meeting with Mr Gehlot and PCC chief Chandarbhan.

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