BJP to go without RLP in Rajasthan civic polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Loktantrik Party alliance in Rajasthan, formed a few months before the Rajasthan Assembly elections 2018, is now showing signs of fissures ahead of the forthcoming civic elections which are scheduled on November 16 in the state.
While the BJP has announced it will go solo in the elections sans its alliance partner RLP, the latter has accused the BJP national vice president and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje of supporting the Congress candidate in the Khinvsar bypoll held on October 21.
Asked by IANS about the reasons for going solo in the civic polls, BJP state president Satish Poonia said, "We have a strong hold in urban areas in the state which RLP doesn't have. Hence we have decided to fight alone this time."
The BJP had formed an alliance with the RLP in the Lok Sabha 2019 elections as well as during the recent bypolls held on October 21.
In the Lok Sabha elections, Khinvsar MLA and RLP Convener Hanuman Beniwal emerged victorious and hence bypolls were held on October 21 to fill the vacancy. His brother Narayan Beniwal was fielded against Congress veteran Hirendra Mirdha. Narayan emerged the winner although with a highly reduced margin of over 4,000 votes as compared with the earlier wins.
Hanuman had won three assembly elections as an Independent with a huge margin, then as a BJP worker and lastly as a RLP candidate, a party he floated a few months before Assembly elections.
This reduced margin did not go down well with Hanuman Narayan who immediately trained his guns at former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, accusing her of helping the Congress and sabotaging the alliance votes with the help of former BJP minister Yunus Khan.
Tagging Amit Shah, J.P. Nadda and Satish Poonia in his tweet on October 25, he demanded action against Raje and Khan for helping the Congress candidate openly.
Two days later, Poonia announced to go solo in the civic polls.
When questioned if the Beniwal tweet was the reason for the separation of the alliance, he said, "As I said, we are confident of our urban voters which is our strength. RLP has support base in rural areas."
Will the BJP take action against Beniwal for accusing a senior BJP leader who has been chief minister twice, Poonia said, "We have already warned Beniwal to use decent language against our senior leaders."
However, when there is alliance, such things do keep happening and hence we can't escalate the matter much, he added.
Meanwhile, Beniwal said that "Although we have strong base in urban and rural areas, we would like to continue the alliance. Earlier too, we initiated the alliance proposal and we shall continue in our efforts to do the same in future," he added.
The differences between Beniwal and Raje came out in the open when the RLP convener openly accused Raje and her ministers of corruption and then floated his own party - the RLP -- a few months before the assembly elections in December 2018.
Raje since then has maintained a distance from Beniwal.
She did not attend the presser called when the BJP formed the alliance with the RLP during the Lok Sabha polls. The party did not field any candidate from Nagaur after the alliance with the RLP.
Also, she was continuously absent from party meetings and campaigning during the bypolls too, where the BJP had formed an alliance with Beniwal's party and fielded his brother Narayan Beniwal from Khinvsar. IANS