New Delhi: The just concluded budget session of the Rajasthan Assembly was important for two reasons. One, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot emerged politically much stronger after the session. Two, the BJP’s factionalism got exposed once again during the Assembly session.
The Gehlot government emerged more powerful after the political move of the BJP as well as CM’s opponents in his own party to corner it over the phone-tapping and other issues boomeranged in the assembly.
The message was loud and clear that the Congress high command is taking no notice of the party’s dissenters in Rajasthan. The government, at the same time, looked relieved due to infighting in the BJP. The Opposition remained ineffective on the phone tapping or other issues. Senior BJP leader Kailash Meghwal’s admiration of the Gehlot government brought the BJP on the backfoot.BJP MLAs were divided over the issue of cornering the Gehlot government, a development which may add to the central high command worries.
Recently, the BJP high command was forced to remove Trivendra Singh Rawat as CM of Uttarakhand following a massive resentment among the party MLAs in the state. What was more worrying was the fact that it happened in a state where the BJP had got a wholesome majority and the high command appointed Trivendra in a bid to project a new leadership. But he had to be removed due to dissent against him, and Tirath Singh Rawat, a Lok Sabha MP, was made the new CM.
After Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, the BJP appointed new leaders as chief ministers of different states. But most of them could not rise up to the expectations of the high command. Raghuvar Das could not ensure BJP’s victory in Jharkhand. Chief Minister M.L. Khattar could not also get a majority in 2018 elections in Haryana, with the result that he had to take support of JJP. Devendra Fadnavis also failed to retain the power in Maharashtra. Yogi Adtiyanath is the only CM who is performing well in Uttar Pradesh.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is not apparently dependable for the BJP, as the party is banking on Himanta Biswa Sarma, who came to BJP from Congress during the last polls, in this assembly election. Most of the tickets are said to have been given to the supporters of Sarma. It will be known after 2 May whom the BJP gives CM post if it retains the power in Assam.
BJP is, undeniably, grappling with groupism in all the states. Taking lessons from Haryana and Jharkhand, the BJP did not take any chances in Uttarakhand and changed the CM. What the new CM Tirath Singh Rawat will be able to do remains to be seen.
After Uttarakhand and UP elections in 2022, Gujarat, MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan will be going to polls in 2023. Barring Gujarat, all these three states are witnessing infighting in BJP. Rajasthan will be more challenging for BJP, as factionalism in the saffron party is massive there. It is said that the BJP’s groupism was responsible for Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot being able to save his government in Rajasthan last year.
Similarly, BJP’s internal fight got exposed all the more during the just concluded budget session of the Rajasthan Assembly when it wanted to corner the Gehlot government over the phone-tapping issue.
The message is that the BJP cannot do anything substantial in Rajasthan without the backing of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.