A crucial meeting of the BJP Central Parliamentary Board on Sunday decided not to take disciplinary action against the former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje, for defying party orders, and instead allowed her to step down as Leader of the Opposition. For, it “believed that she would obey the party decision.”
The party is said to have taken into consideration Ms. Raje’s statement, earlier in the day, that she had not made any adverse comment about any party leader or thought of floating a separate party.
Briefing journalists, BJP president Rajnath Singh said Ms. Raje’s statement was “positive” and the board members believed that she would resign as directed by the party, though no time frame had been set for her to put in her papers. Sources in the party said Ms. Raje would quit the post before the BJP’s Chintan Baitak began in Shimla on August 19.
In her statement issued in Jaipur, Ms. Raje said: “I have neither made any adverse comments nor any statement against the BJP or its leader or thought of floating a party.” She was hurt by the “untrue” statements attributed to her against the BJP, which was nurtured by the “blood and sweat” of her mother.
Accusing TV news channels of distorting facts, Ms. Raje said, “It is surprising and disappointing that some electronic media channels were showing news that are baseless and beyond truth.”
Last week, the core group of the Central Parliamentary Board asked Ms. Raje to step down in the wake of the party’s poll debacle in the State, but she refused to oblige and even tried to put pressure on the central leadership to revoke the decision by sending over 60 MLAs to Delhi. However, the senior party leader, L.K. Advani, refused to meet them. Sunday’s meeting was convened to decide on her fate for “indiscipline.” But Ms. Raje’s statement came just before the session.