The goal of Vasundhara Raje for her 68th birthday on Monday is to leave no question that the two-time Chief Minister, who has been absent from the political scene in Rajasthan for the last few years, is returning to active politics.
A two-day “yatra” of holy places in the state’s Bharatpur region will be a show of strength and demonstration that can still draw large crowds at a time when the Rajasthan BJP is fighting infighting between those loyal to her and those loyal to the state party president Satish Poonia. The yatra began on Sunday.
Although many former and current MLAs, including former ministers from her own cabinet, are participating in the yatra, the Vasundhara Samarthak Manch was also seen in action. This is an outfit of her supporters from inside the BJP who are active in every part of Rajasthan.
Mr. Poonia, however, was absent from her yatra, as he began his own three-day tour of south Rajasthan on Saturday.
More About Raje And Her Plans:
Vasundhara Raje has struck a more conciliatory tone amid growing calls from her supporters for her to be given a more active role in state politics, saying that since her mother Vijaya Raje Scindia “lit a lamp for the BJP” as a founding member, she will ensure it continues to burn.
A reason for her zero roles since the BJP’s defeat in the 2018 assembly elections, an ensuing rift with then party chief Amit Shah and a feud with Satish Poonia, Vasundhara Raje had been missing from the political world of Rajasthan over the past few years and came back to Jaipur last month. This happened after around a three-month break in Delhi.
She had missed many of the BJP’s recent conferences including those held last year during the peak of the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government’s instability over Sachin Pilot’s uprising. Ms. Raje’s apparent disinterest in the BJP’s game irritated many at the party at the time.
Her comeback to the city by road was also a massive show of her power, with supporters cheering and waving banners in her encouragement.
JP Nadda, the BJP‘s national president, visited Jaipur last week in an attempt to bridge the divide between Ms. Raje and Mr. Poonia, but party leaders say the two camps have yet to reach an agreement.