Confusion prevailed over the status of the former Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, who presided over a meeting of the BJP Legislature Party here on Wednesday, on the eve of a brief Assembly session.
Rajendra Singh Rathore and Gyandev Ahuja, MLAs suspended from the party on charges of indiscipline last week, were allowed to attend the meeting. The MLAs who were suspended from the House were also present. Mr. Ahuja is suspended from both the party and the Assembly.
The meeting, which decided to continue the House boycott until the suspension of three MLAs is revoked, itself presented a paradoxical picture of Ms. Raje continuing as Leader of the Opposition as she would have no role from now. There was reportedly no discussion on the MLAs suspended from the party attending the meeting or on the issue of leadership of Ms. Raje, who was directed by the party leadership to quit the legislature wing post.
Against claims made by senior partymen here that her resignation was pending with the central leadership, Ms. Raje denied having put in her papers. “Whatever is in the party’s interest, I will do it,” she asserted in her brief interaction with the media after the meeting. However, party leaders in the State maintained their earlier stand that her resignation was pending and it was only a matter of time before she quit. “Everything is final and only the date has to be put on the letter to formalise the resignation,” one of them reiterated.
The meeting lasted less than 15 minutes and Ghanshyam Tiwari, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, put the number of BJP MLAs who attended at over 70. The party has 78 MLAs. The MLAs of the CPI(M) and the Janata Dal (United) did not participate in the meeting, which was initially projected as a gathering of all members of the Opposition.