The BJP in Rajasthan appears to be readying itself for next year’s Assembly election, with a ‘Jan Aakrosh Yatra’ being planned from mid-November to December 17 covering all 200 Assembly seats in the State, and the setting up of a ‘joining committee’ headed by Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal to facilitate the entry of leaders from other parties to the BJP.
The programme has been drawn up keeping in mind that Assembly polls in the State are due end of next year, 2023. According to a BJP office-bearer in charge of affairs in Rajasthan, over 600 leaders from within the State will be deployed during this programme, which will start simultaneously in all districts of the State, go on for 10 days at the district level and then progress to block and village level meetings and protests. “Issues raised in the aakrosh rallies will be on the record of the Ashok Gehlot government on crime, crimes against women, appeasement politics and corruption. There is more than a year to go for polls, so it’s clear this is not for political mobilisation but that people in Rajasthan want the BJP to raise these issues against the Gehlot government,” said the leader.
The ‘committee for joining’ will have Mr. Meghwal and State leader Vasudev Devnani and will mostly process any approaches made by the BJP towards leaders of other parties or vice versa. “Basically due diligence work will be undertaken besides political assessment,” said the source. There was no explanation as to why there was a need to set up such a committee and not go by the old processes of a diffused, unstructured outreach.
The BJP had, in the past, kept its counsel when a massive rebellion against the Congress high command was mounted by party MLAs owing loyalty to Chief Minister Gehlot as he was being readied to contest the polls for Congress president and his replacement was tipped to be former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. The BJP has in the past been accused of fomenting Mr. Pilot's own rebellion against his party, and a struggle was one for the Chief Minister's chair in the State.
At this point, senior leaders told The Hindu that the Congress is on a shaky wicket due to internal factionalism and governance issues, especially law and order as witnessed by the murder of a tailor, Kanhaiya Lal a few months ago by two men who filmed the murder and bragged that it was in response to an insult of Prophet Mohammad.
"People are watching everything and there is a real anger among them over the complete breakdown of law and order," said the source.