Rajasthan political crisis | Vasundhara Raje’s silence rings out loud

The former chief minister’s silence on events in Rajasthan prove that it’s largely seen as a Delhi-led adventure

July 14, 2020 05:17 pm | Updated July 15, 2020 10:15 pm IST - NEW DELHI

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. File

BJP leader and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. File

Amid the unfolding, cacophonous political crisis in Rajasthan, the silence of former chief minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje has rung out loud and became a major factor in the BJP’s cautious, wait and watch attitude towards Sachin Pilot’s rebellion against the Congress .

Also read: Rajasthan political crisis | July 14, 2020

Ms. Raje is reportedly in Dholpur, her traditional stomping ground and has not — not even via a single tweet — commented on the goings-on in the State where she has twice been chief minister. Other BJP leaders from the State — Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, former Union minister P.P. Choudhary and Rajya Sabha MP Om Mathur — have commented, though in measured tones. Not so Ms. Raje.

Sources in the BJP say Ms Raje’s silence, and her considerable hold on BJP MLAs in the State unit is also one of the reasons why the party has been proceeding rather gingerly with regard to toppling the Gehlot government.

“The high command wants to induct Sachin Pilot into the BJP, he would be a great catch. But this is a State unit where Vasundhara Raje is a dominant figure and also has the guts to stand up to Delhi. In such a situation, it was felt that proceeding with caution was wise,” said a source.

Also read: Amid overtures to Sachin Pilot, Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party backs Gehlot

Ms. Raje very famously held her ground in 2018, over the question of choosing a State unit chief. While then party president Amit Shah wanted to appoint Mr. Shekhawat, Ms. Raje held firm on preventing a choice from Delhi to prevail. After a 71-day stalemate, Madan Lal Saini, a relative light weight was appointed.

Also read: Analysis | Sachin Pilot revolt brings into focus Congress’s leadership battles across States

Ms. Raje’s silence on events in Rajasthan prove that it’s mostly being perceived as a Delhi-led adventure, and being watched as such. While it isn’t clear what Mr. Pilot — currently sacked as the deputy chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president by the Congress — is likely to do, his entry into the BJP will, be as cataclysmic for the BJP as his exit was for the Congress.

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