Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 17
The Rajasthan Congress imbroglio has also brought into the open factionalism and different groups operating in the state BJP.
On Friday, the Congress accused senior BJP leader and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat of allegedly being involved in horse-trading to topple the Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan.
Interestingly, national convener of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party Hanuman Beniwal had on Thursday accused senior BJP leader and former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of trying to save the Gehlot government.
Though Beniwal is technically not from the BJP any more, political observers say the NDA ally could not have made such an accusation against someone like Raje, with known differences with Home Minister Amit Shah, without the "blessings and concurrence" of the central BJP leadership.
The "silence" of Raje in the ongoing political tussle in Rajasthan is the talk of the town. The senior BJP leader, who is believed to have a mind of her own on what is being read largely as a "Delhi- sponsored programme", is yet to speak on the poltical turmoil in Rajasthan unlike other prominent BJP leaders like Shekhawat, Om Mathur and Gulab Chand Kataria.
Raje’s hold over BJP MLAs and state unit is well known, how she held her ground in 2018 against someone as powerful as Shah, the then BJP president, over the selection of the state unit chief.
Shah wanted to appoint Shekhawat but after weeks-long stalemate, a middle path was adopted in the form of Madan Lal Saini.
Shekhawat has been named along with rebel Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma in an FIR over allegations of a conspiracy against the Congress government.
The Congress has alleged that investigations had found rebel MLAs plotting with the BJP against the Gehlot government.
Shekhawat on Tuesday had given several indications that rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot may be joining the BJP after he was sacked from the posts of Rajasthan Congress president and state Deputy Chief Minister. This despite Pilot claiming he was not intersted in joining the BJP.
Beniwal, who represents Nagaur in the Lok Sabha and is a NDA ally, had claimed Raje was "making all efforts to save the minority government of Ashok Gehlot" and that she "had also rung up many Congress leaders close to her in this context".
Beniwal also alleged that Raje called up her loyalists in the BJP and told them to support Gehlot. He said he had the proof of the former BJP CM "telling Jat MLAs from Sikar and Nagaur to keep distance from Sachin Pilot".
Beniwal also alleged that people of the state were well aware of the close association between Raje and Gehlot and how they tried to "cover up each other's corruption".
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