The crisis in the BJP appeared to be blowing over with the former Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje herself clarifying that she had no intention of splitting the party in Rajasthan, nor would she disobey the leadership’s directive.
A statement issued here in the afternoon blamed “certain electronic media channels” which were out to “mislead the public and sully her image.” Ms. Raje’s explanation came well in time before the meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board convened in Delhi by president Rajnath Singh to discuss her defiant stand in the past six days. As the Parliamentary Board did not set any deadline for her to resign, it is expected that she would be putting in her papers in a day or two. Ms. Raje, in her one-page statement, was emphatic about her loyalty to the party which, her mother, Vijayraje Scindia, “founded and nourished with her ‘khoon pasina’ [sweat and blood].” “As the daughter of a person who spent each moment of her life thinking about the interest of the party, I am hurt by the reports in the media about my said misdemeanour against the BJP, which is like my mother,” she said.
Ms. Raje said she considered the late “Rajmata Saab” her ideal. It was through public life, by sharing the joys and sorrows of the people, and by serving them for the past 20 years, she had reached this position. “She never made any comments against the BJP or the party leaders and never had she thought of forming a new party,” said the statement, issued by Mahendra Bhardwaj, press adviser to the Leader of the Opposition.
Senior party leaders in the State mostly remained tightlipped on the developments throughout the day as the central leadership got into action. The former State president, Omprakash Mathur, whose resignation in the wake of the electoral setbacks made Ms. Raje’s exit appear almost obligatory, met her at her residence. Talking to journalists, Mr. Mathur expressed concern over the “growing intolerance” among the party leaders.
The rapprochement has come as a big relief to many in the party. “It is a good development. The party MLAs would be saved the dilemma of siding with this one or that one,” said Manik Chand Surana, former Minister.
On his part, State BJP chief Arun Chaturvedi tried to play down the role of the “usual suspects” in the party when it came to reining in Ms. Raje. “The action is by the central leadership. There is no option before us but to go by the directives from above,” he said.