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Is Vasundhara Raje returning to active politics?

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Following the meeting between Union home minister Amit Shah and Rajasthan’s former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, speculations are rife that the latter is likely to play a key role in the BJP’s organisational set-up in the coming months.

Raje, apparently, seems to have won the confidence of Amit Shah during the meeting between the two on Tuesday at the minister’s residence. Ever since 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power, he and Raje were not in the best of terms.

Raje was unhappy when in 2014 her son, Dushyant Singh, who is a member of Lok Sabha from Jhalawar, was not made a minister. The detractors of Raje further helped in widening the gap between Modi and the former Rajasthan CM.

Vasundhara Raje’s failure

Vasundhara lost much of her clout in BJP after the party failed to retain power in the 2018 Vidhan Sabha election in Rajasthan. The three states—Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh—where the  BJP lost saw the former chief ministers—Vasundhara Raje, Shivraj Singh and Raman Singh—being bundled out by the party’s high command.

All three were made the party’s vice presidents, but without any effective roles to play. Only Shivraj Singh through his own endeavour and dexterity was able to stage a comeback as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh dethroning the Congress government there.

Vasundhara Raje ignored by BJP

Vasundhara Raje was ignored by the BJP in her own home state. It sent a message to her detractors that she has lost the confidence of the party’s senior leadership. This resulted in several senior leaders of the BJP claiming to become the chief minister if the party returns to power.

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But Vasundhara, because of her mother late Vijayaraje Scindia, enjoys a special position among the old guards of the BJP. Vasundhara Raje has used that clout to convince both Modi and Shah that she could be useful for the party .It seems the persistent efforts of Vasundhara Raje to clear the misunderstanding has paid results. Vasundhara Raje is likely to play an active role in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections in several states.

What do political observers say?

Political observers in Jaipur are of the opinion that Vasundhara Raje still remains the tallest BJP leader of the state—a position that only Bhairon Singh Shekhawat enjoyed. She would still have her say as a majority of the 74 BJP MLAs are with her.

The coming four bypolls in the state might see the return of Vasundhara Raje, as the BJP would use the four bypolls as a mini referendum against the Ashok Gehlot government.

 

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