Leader of the Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly Vasundhara Raje is expected to be given an ultimatum by the Bharatiya Janata Party: resign as directed or face disciplinary action.
On Wednesday, the party’s Parliamentary Board is scheduled to meet to take stock of the results of three elections to the Assemblies of Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh. If the party does not find itself to be in a position to form a government in any of the these States, the discussion is expected to be on Ms. Raje, who has been defying the Board’s clear directive that she should resign.
On October 15 at a meeting of the Board, party president Rajnath Singh refused to give in to an attempt made by the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani to get the Board to rescind its decision that she must resign. Senior leader Sushma Swaraj was asked to speak to Ms. Raje.
Meeting with Sushma
Apparently, Ms. Raje is now expected to come here on Wednesday evening and meet Ms. Swaraj the same evening or the following morning when the ultimatum is expected to be delivered by her. Since the Board will also be meeting on Wednesday, the expectation is that Ms. Raje will resign or face action.
The standoff between the party and her has been continuing for months. Initially, senior leader Venkaiah Naidu was given the task of speaking to her and getting her resignation. When she came to Delhi to meet him, she remained unavailable to anyone in the party for weeks claiming she was down with a “viral” fever.
The BJP took the decision to ask her to resign following the worse-than-dismal Lok Sabha election performance in Rajasthan, where the BJP won only four of 25 seats. Before asking her to step down, the State party president was replaced. The idea was to completely change the State leadership.