Express News Service

JAIPUR: Around two years are left for the Rajasthan Assembly elections in 2023 but the BJP has started its preparations by holding a two-day ‘Chintan Shivir’ in the historic city of Kumbhalgarh. BJP’s National Organisation General Secretary BL Santosh headed this special meet which attracted most major leaders of the state including BJP State President Satish Punia, Leader of Opposition Gulabchand Kataria, Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathod and Rajya Sabha member Om Mathur.  

However, former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has stayed away which has once again brought to the fore the rift in the state BJP. Tackling infighting still remains on top of the agenda for the state BJP.

Senior leaders and office bearers of the party have prepared a strategy for the 2023 Assembly elections in separate sessions. The BJP’s think tank under the National Organisation General Secretary BL Santosh reviewed the various works related to the state unit of Rajasthan BJP at the Chintan Shivir. At the Shivir, leaders reviewed the organisation structures and activities of the party in their various meetings.

The effort was aimed at preparing a roadmap for the future as the party aims to return to power in Rajasthan in 2023. Party sources say the emphasis at the meet was on making the party organisation more active. The BJP wants to establish a direct linkage of its party workers with voters from the state level to the booth level in each area. The functioning of the party was also reviewed in this special camp.

Much of the discussion at the ‘Chintan Shivir’ was about removing party weaknesses and internal differences of the state party unit. BJP sources say that in the meeting, BL Santosh gave instructions to party leaders to put a full stop to factionalism. For the past two years, the Rajasthan BJP has seen a lot of infighting between supporters of former CM Vasundhara Raje and the state president Satish Poonia.

As a result, even at this ‘Chintan Shivir’, serious concerns were raised as Vasundhara Raje and all leaders of her faction stayed absent from the camp. Though the ill-health of her daughter-in-law is known, no official reason was provided for why Raje did not attend the meeting. Given Raje’s notable absence, it’s clear that political turmoil in the BJP continues in the state unit. As it contemplates a return to power in Rajasthan, repairing the rift within the state party unit remains a major challenge for the BJP.