New Delhi: Former Rajasthan chief minister and senior BJP leader Vasundhara Raje Thursday asked her party MLAs to be ready for elections, saying that the faction-ridden Congress government in the state was unstable and won’t last, ThePrint has learnt.
The BJP’s state unit held a meeting of its top leaders and MLAs to strategise ahead of the special session of the state assembly, scheduled to begin Friday.
State BJP president Satish Poonia told the media after the meeting that the party will move a no-confidence motion in the assembly Friday. He was backed by Gulab Chand Kataria, the leader of opposition.
“We will move no-confidence motion in the assembly. Coronavirus cases are on the rise and the law and order situation is deteriorating,” Kataria said. “Attempts were made to link those, who were arrested by SoG (special operation group) over the allegations of conspiring to topple the government, with BJP, but the government failed in this. We will mention all these issues in the proposal.”
The BJP meeting was attended by senior party leader and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, general secretary Muralidhar Rao, state in-charge Avinash Khanna, Poonia and Raje. All state BJP MLAs also attended the meeting, which lasted for around three hours.
This was the first meeting of BJP MLAs with their leadership since Rajasthan was plunged into a political crisis last month when former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and a number of party MLAs backing him rebelled against their own Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot.
‘Raje confident government won’t last’
Sources present at the meeting told ThePrint that the former chief minister has asked them to prepare for elections.
“Rajeji said that this is their internal fight and still they are trying to shift the blame on us. Even as the people are suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic and locust attacks, they were busy in hotels,” said a BJP MLA from Rajasthan.
“She said this government will not last long. We should all be ready for elections and start preparing for it,” the MLA added. “The government will not last more than six months as there is too much internal fight. The central leadership such as Priyanka Gandhi may have been able to resolve it temporarily but it will not last.
“Sheesha ek baar toot jaata hai toh jodne par nishaan reh jaata hai. Inn logo ka dil saaf nahi hai aur government nahi chalegi (Once a glass breaks, a mark will always remain even if you repair it),” said another leader quoting Raje.
“In the meeting, other leaders also pointed out that this government will not be stable due to their internal matters so all MLAs were asked to be prepared and ready for all eventualities,” said a third leader.
The meeting comes in the backdrop of the Congress rebel faction having patched up with the party, after Pilot met senior Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi, earlier this week. There are, however, still some uncertainties in the state.
Amid all this, however, two-time former CM Raje has maintained a low profile, and also skipped meetings called by the state unit.
But Pratap Singh, the BJP MLA from Chhabra, told ThePrint that there was consensus at the meeting that Raje was the BJP leader.
“Everyone at the meeting said Vasundhara Rajeji is our leader,” he said. “There are so many problems in the state and the Congress government is busy playing politics. We will continue to highlight the failures of the government.”
In the assembly of 200 seats, the Congress has 107 MLAs. The party also has the support of 13 Independent MLAs in the state. Apart from this, two tribal MLAs, an RLD MLA are also backing the Congress. The BJP has 72 MLAs and also has the support of three RLP MLAs. The other two MLAs are of the CPI(M).