By Archana Sharma
Jaipur, March 4 : Oscar Wilde once said, “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.”
This quote seemed to be thoroughly followed by BJP state president Satish Poonia during the recent visit of BJP national president JP Nadda as he left no stone unturned to show a large heart towards former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, highlighting the fact that he holds no grudges against Raje who, in fact, had announced a silent war against him.
Raje, since the appointment of Poonia as state BJP president, has maintained a distance from the party office and party meetings and has plans to organise a ‘religious yatra’ covering Krishna temples in the state from March 8, her birthday, to show her strength.
Eventually, it was very much out in the open that the BJP in Rajasthan is being headed by two groups — one by former CM Raje’s camp and the second by BJP state president Satish Poonia. While Raje has been a mass leader who has served the state as CM twice, Poonia comes as a choice of the Sangh and is a trusted soldier of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Nadda came to Rajasthan in between his hectic schedule due to the Bengal and other state elections, to show a united face of the saffron party to the people as by-polls for four seats are to be held soon.
Before the arrival of Nadda, there were two groups seen standing at the airport — “one led by Raje and the other by Poonia.
As Raje was sitting inside the airport with her supporters, Poonia went to her and said that “Nadda will be coming out from the other side so you all should join us.”
Eventually, as Nadda came, Raje was very much in place among a huge queue of senior leaders, with Poonia being in front and Raje in second position.
Soon after reaching the venue, when Nadda was going up in an elevator with Arun Singh and a security man, he invited Poonia but Poonia requested Raje to go up in the lift and preferred to use the stairs.
Next, even during his address, he had words of praise for Raje and said how her policies helped in developing Rajasthan when she was the CM.
During lunch, when all the leaders were taking their seats and were about to start eating, Poonia again took the lead and started serving food to them.
He also went to Raje and served her Ras Malai and asked if she needed anything else which did raise the eyebrows of many leaders.
While BJP leaders are admiring the deft moves of Poonia, there are whispers about Nadda’s address also who openly asked leaders to do self-analysis about their contribution to the organisation and asked them to work and take everyone along.
Addressing a state executive committee meeting here, Nadda said that leaders in the party enjoying a long tenure tend to stop doing self-analysis.
“Knowingly or unknowingly, we all assume that we know everything. However, this is the beginning of stagnation… the truth is that our productivity decreases…,” he said.
“I request everyone here to do self-analysis. What is your commitment, your relevance? Politics is a place where you have to be relevant.
“Relevance means how much are you contributing to the party… how much are you acceptable. As a leader, you will have to develop the quality of taking along everyone which will increase your acceptance,” he said in a candid address.
Now, there is speculation about whom Nadda’s message was directed at – Raje or Poonia – and who will emerge as the dark horse in the long run.