The truce between the former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, and the BJP leadership remained short-lived as the party on Tuesday suspended two of her most vocal supporters among the MLAs charging them with “indiscipline.”
The orders suspending Rajendra Singh Rathore, former Minister and party Whip in the Assembly, and Gyandev Ahuja were issued by the State unit. Both have been asked to reply in seven days.
“Hum jawab denge (we will give a reply),” said Mr. Rathore coming out of the Civil Lines residence of Ms. Raje, where about two dozen MLAs were huddled together in the evening after learning about the disciplinary action. “We have not committed any indiscipline. We did not speak against the party leadership or the parliamentary board,” said both he and Mr. Ahuja. “Vasundharaji will reply to the charge sheet,” Mr. Ahuja said.
Ms. Raje is maintaining her silence. In fact, she remained confined to her residence, which has been out of bounds to the media of late.
Both Mr. Rathore and Mr. Ahuja have been speaking to the media for the past one week supporting her continuation as Leader of the Opposition and challenging the leadership’s directive, asking her to step down.
The immediate provocation for State president Arun Chaturvedi to issue the “charge sheet” appeared to be their utterances after what appeared to be a rapprochement between Ms. Raje and the leadership at the parliamentary board meeting in Delhi on Sunday.
Earlier, Mr. Chaturvedi convened a meeting at which the former State president, Omprakash Mathur, and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Ghanshyam Tiwari took part. “Now the issue is between Ms. Raje and the national leadership of the party,” Mr. Agarwal said after the meeting.
Mr. Chaturvedi accused the two MLAs of carrying out a “misleading” campaign against Mr. Singh and the central leadership decision.