Raje: Not breaking away from BJP

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly Vasundhara Raje has termed a report suggesting she may break away from the party a “conspiracy”. She said there was no need for her to clarify on the how she and her family closely associated with the party.
She said it was part of a conspiracy to malign her image. Reacting sharply, Ms Raje issued a statement saying such reports were not only baseless and unfounded, but also contemptuous. “Ye to virodhi dalo aur kuch swarthi logo ka rajnaitik shadyantra hai (It is a conspiracy on part of some political parties and selfish elements),” she said. State BJP in-charge Kaptan Singh Solanki rejected reports of dissension in the party and denied any report of Ms Raje’s move to break away from the party.
However, sources said a section of the BJP intensified its efforts to occupy the post of state BJP president in view of the Assembly elections due next year. Sources close to Ms Raje termed this baseless.
Sources said a faction loyal to Ms Raje has been insisting to give Ms Raje a free hand before the elections. Though she has been Leader of the Opposition, the post of state party president will be instrumental in deciding the candidates. State BJP chief Arun Chaturvedi has completed his tenure and the Raje camp followers are eyeing his position.
Mr Chaturvedi is considered close to the RSS and was appointed the party president when it lost power in the Assembly elections. He had replaced Om Prakash Mathur. Mr Chaturvedi was formally elected unopposed as the president and is now seeking one more term as president. Sources said Ms Raje’s followers rallied behind her and showed their strength when she threatened to quit the party in May in view of former home minister Gulab Chand Kataria’s proposed rath yatra.
Fifty-six BJP MLAs offered to resign with her when Ms Raje stormed out from the meeting of the core committee in Jaipur on May 5 and opposed Mr Kataria’s yatra. Mr Kataria immediately called his yatra off. But since then, he has been touring the state extensively with the Sangh Parivar backing him.

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