New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not interested in pushing for President’s Rule in Rajasthan to further expose the bare-fanged infighting within the Congress, but would rather shore up its electoral prospects to vote out the ruling party next year.
State BJP chief Satish Poonia said the strategy ahead was very simple given the way “the situation has unfolded”. “Prepare for elections,” is Poonia’s mantra as there is not much time left.
The state BJP chief said the party was aware of the factors working in its favour. “Whether it is perception, anti-incumbency, our organisational skills – and now one more thing will contribute to our success: the internal fight within the Congress. These four factors are enough to ensure a win for the party,” Poonia said.
Speaking to ThePrint in New Delhi, Poonia said Congress Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has been busy saving his chair for the last four years, adding the party would not come to power again.
“There is no need to press for presidential rule… we are completely ready for elections and our election-related activities have already started,” he said emphatically.
Asked if Gehlot’s bete noire Sachin Pilot was in touch with the BJP or whether his party had sent feelers, Poonia said: “So far, this is an imaginary question, and depending on the circumstances in the future, we will contemplate on such issues. Only the central leadership is authorised and capable to take a call on such issues. But so far there has been no discussion,”
The state BJP president also accused the Ashok Gehlot government of cheating the people of Rajasthan, despite being “given the mandate”.
The BJP has been keeping an eye on the current political turmoil in the state Congress, and has adopted a “wait and watch” policy.
According to a senior BJP leader, the central leadership has been apprised of the latest developments and have been asked to strengthen the party at the grassroots level in the eventuality of elections being brought forward.
Another senior leader said: “So far, we are preparing for the 2023 elections and our focus is quite clear. This latest political crisis has only added to the anti-incumbency of the Gehlot government and we are sure of a win now.”
Several senior BJP leaders and ministers will be visiting the state in the coming days to participate in welfare programmes as the party gears up for the 2023 assembly elections.
The political fracas in the state – fronted by the ever-squabbling Gehlot-Pilot camps — has kept the Congress high-command on its toes. It was expected that Ashok Gehlot would quit the chief minister’s position if he contested the Congress presidential poll, in keeping with the party’s “one-man one-post” policy. But his loyalists seem to be concerned that the high-command might hand over the CM’s chair to Sachin Pilot who had triggered a rebellion against the Gehlot government in 2020.