Call it a show of strength or term it as a religious yatra or birthday celebrations whatever name one wants to give to the former chief minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje’s two-day yatra of Bharatpur and surrounding areas, one thing is sure by undertaking this Raje has been able to convey to BJP leadership that she still is the most charismatic leader in the party in Rajasthan. A leader who all said and done is loved by many both in the party and people in the desert state of Rajasthan.

By Anil Sharma

In all over 31 of the 71 MLAs BJP has got in the Rajasthan state assembly, 9 MPs of the 25 MPs from the state and around 75 of former MLAs and hundreds of her supporters attended her yatra and birthday celebrations on March 8th. Much to the annoyance of some BJP leaders in the state, Raje was well received by an enthusiastic crowd in the areas she visited, proving that she still is a mass leader. It is true that by holding this yatra and birthday celebration, Raje has been able to show her political prowess.

Political analysts feel that she has ably proved that she is the tallest leader in the state BJP as of now and no one in the party is even a bit closer to her at least when it comes to popularity, charisma, and stature. It is a truth that Ashok Gehlot in the Congress and Vasundhara Raje in the BJP are two of the most charismatic and mass leaders in the state.

Raje has been able to send a clear message to the party hi-command in Delhi that “one may not like her but she cannot be ignored”. And frankly, there seems to be no reason to ignore her.

In two of her stints as CM of the state, Raje was, as some blame carried a persona of an arrogant leader. Questions were even raised on her functioning style. But now she looks a completely changed leader, a leader who is meeting party workers and gathering information and taking feedback at her residence in Jaipur whenever she is in town. For a person who did not mix up much with people in her two stints as CM of the state or even after her party lost elections, seeing this kind of change is really noteworthy. A huge gathering is visible around her house, from early morning till late night people can be seen trying to meet their leader.

Yes, these changes might be troubling a few BJP leaders both at the Centre and at the state level, but Raje now seems to be more confident than before and she seems to be more communicative. These changes make a lot of political sense as they comes at a time when Raje supporters were feeling that she was being sidelined by the BJP central leadership in Delhi. One thing BJP leadership in Delhi should be aware of is that the party can face problems if she refrains from party activities. Her presence and her views should be given due weightage when decisions are taken on Rajasthan political issues by the BJP leadership in Delhi.

Frankly, speaking Raje needs to be given a freehand and power in Rajasthan if factionalism ridden BJP is to be strengthened in the desert state. Partly leadership in Delhi should be clear that she is the one who is capable of putting an end to infighting in the party and regrouping and strengthening the party in the state before the next assembly polls in 2023.

With the kind of support, she got in her two-day yatra cum birthday celebrations, it is clear that BJP leadership should give Raje more importance to propel BJP back into power in the state. Sidelining her will not augur well for the party