Stunned by media baron Subhash Chandra's defeat, BJP in Rajasthan looking for leadership change

Shobha Rani Kushwaha, who has been suspended by the party for her alleged cross-voting has blamed the party’s leaders for infighting

Photo courtesy social media
Photo courtesy social media

Prakash Bhandari

BJP’s central leadership is unhappy with the performance of the party in the state. The party leadership is upset with the cross-voting in favour of Congress by a woman party MLA Shobha Rani Kushwaha whose vote enabled the third Congress candidate Pramod Tiwari to win eventually.
The second candidate, Subhash Chandra, who was backed by the BJP could muster only 30 votes and fell short by 11 votes.
While Shobha Rani Kushwaha, who has been suspended by the party for her alleged cross-voting, has blamed the party’s leaders for infighting. She said the senior leaders of the party often get involved in defeating the official candidate just for their own political gains.
Shobha Rani, who is MLA from Dholpur is close to the former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and the party leaders are surprised that Vasundhara Raje chose not to comment on the reasons behind the defeat of Subhash Chandra.
The BJP leaders are jubilant that it won 22 out of the 57 seats in the Rajya Sabha poll and managed to win three seats in Maharashtra through backroom management, but disappointed at failing to get its second candidate ( Subhash Chandra) win even after having 30 surplus votes.
Senior BJP leaders are trying to get reports from state leaders on the reasons why the BJP lost the second seat and how Shobha Rani voted in favour of Pramod Tiwari which helped him win.
In the 2018 Vidhan sabha poll, Congress sent the BJP out of power and managed to form a minority government. Since the Vidhan sabha poll in 2018, the BJP has not been very successful in electoral politics except in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The BJP’s record says that Congress did better than the BJP in various Vidhan Sabha by-elections and also in the civic and panchayat polls.
The party which won all the 25 seats at stake in the Lok Sabha election of 2019 has been on the decline since then and it has lost its clout among the masses.
Ashok Gehlot, though leading a minority government managed to get the merger of all the six BSP candidates who joined Congress thus lending support to the ruling Congress.
The BJP leadership is amazed that Gehlot managed to keep the flock of all the 13 Independents together and managed to get the Independents' votes in favour of the three Congress candidates.
The BJP on the other hand fielded Subhas Chandra hoping to get the support of the Independents, but the independents did not indulge in horse-trading and supported the Congress causing the defeat of Subhash Chandra.

“ We were not informed beforehand about the party’s interest in Subhash Chandra. He was a surprise, last minute candidate parachuted here and his candidature was not favoured by the party here. The party voted for Subhash Chandra using its 30 additional votes because of the whip issued. But the party could have fielded somebody from the state. But after supporting the candidature of Subhash Chandra as Independent, the party failed to muster the support of the Independents. This was the failure of the senior leadership of the party and they should be squarely blamed for the defeat of the second candidate. The Congress with better planning and coordination outclassed the BJP” said a senior leader of the BJP.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot said the infighting in the BJP resulted in Congress winning the three seats. He said the BJP’s leadership failed miserably in reading the minds of the Independents who were united in favour of the Congress and that caused the defeat of the BJP-supported Subhash Chandra.
Pilot said BJP initiated horse-trading, knowing it well that its does not have the numbers, yet it supported Subhash Chandra. There is a recod that barring once when Rajendra Modi was elected as an Independent with the support of the BJP in the 90’s all other BJP supported Independents lost.
“BJP has learned a lesson with the Rajya sabha defeat. Now we are going to retain the power by defeating BJP in the 2023 Vidhan Sabha election. The people are happy with the Congress rule in the state and the people want us to be back in power again” said Pilot.
It is likely that the BJP would affect a change in the party’s state organisation. It is likely that Om Mathur, a senior party leader and a member of the Rajya Sabha would be asked to lead the party in Rajasthan. Mathur a two-time Rajya Sabha member was not given a third term by the party as the party is keen that he should reorganise the BJP organisational set up in the state.

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