NEW DELHI Senior Rajasthan leader and two-time chief minister Vasundhara Raje has been the fulcrum of BJP’s politics in the state for nearly two decades. But that may change as the saffron party gears up for the assembly elections next month. Hinting at a possible change in the state, Jaipur Rural MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is considering bringing fresh leadership in Rajasthan.
“PM Modi is thinking of bringing fresh leadership in Rajasthan and that is because Rajasthan has been a backward state for so many years. Rajasthan should become a partner in the Amrit Kaal mission of the Prime Minister and should lead in that way. Youths here who are capable should move forward with the country. We want that,” Rathore said.
Rathore is among the several MPs fielded by the BJP in assembly elections. In fact, the BJP’s first list for the state has names of 7 MPs. This number may increase as the BJP announces more names for the state in the coming days.

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The party has also made it clear that it will not project any chief ministerial face in the assembly elections. State BJP president CP Joshi said party’s election symbol ‘lotus’ will be its face in the coming assembly election.
“Our candidate is lotus flower. The candidate is only in symbolic form. The people of the state have also made up their mind that this time the name of BJP and the symbol of lotus are getting public support,” Joshi had said.
Vasundhara Raje, who holds considerable clout in the state, faces pressure from her loyalists who have been left out of the first BJP list. She has been quiet despite reports of protests by aspirants who have been denied ticket. In view of protests, BJP has formed a 11-member committee headed by Union minister Kailash Chaudhary to look into the matter.

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Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat dismissed allegations by some local leaders that they were denied the party nomination this time because they are in the Raje camp. “Tickets have been announced for 41 seats — about 20 per cent seats. It is too early to draw conclusions from that,” he said.
The BJP has played down reports of dissidence.
“When the best has to be chosen from the better ones, the better ones do have something in the back of their mind but BJP is a cadre-based party and it is evident that the issues that were there earlier have toned down at present and will further tone down in future as well,” said BJP leader Rajendra Rathore.

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“The whole party will be united and respect the decision made by the party high command. At times there are minor disputes in a family which are usually solved internally among the the family members. There is nothing to worry about because it is not as if there is a major rebellion, it is just a minor thing on which understanding can be developed,” he added.
Rajasthan has alternated between the Congress and the BJP, giving the saffron party a natural advantage in these elections. But to capitalise on that, the party has to stay united and ensure that the list of rebels in the state does not grow long. It remains to be seen how smoothly the party transitions from the old guards to fresh leadership in the state.
(With inputs from agencies)

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