By Shashi Bhushan
New Delhi, Feb 10 : Downplaying the outburst of a group of BJP leaders, considered loyalists of former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia told IANS that the party’s performance has improved in local bodies polls despite being in the opposition ranks.
In a joint statement yesterday, Chhabra MLA Pratap Singh Singhvi and others said that the state organisation, on the behest of a individual has worked for decimating the BJP in its stronghold in recent civic polls and if the situation remains the same, then no force can save the party’s boat from sinking.
Singhvi is considered close to Raje.
Poonia stated that it was a political statement made by followers of a leader with no ground level support. “It is an emotional outburst of followers of a leader. There is nothing which shows the party has been weakened after the civic polls result,” he said.
Poonia said that people generally vote for the party in power in the state during local body polls and despite that the Congress is able to win only 50 seats more than BJP. “Congress won 1,190 civic wards, while BJP won 1,146. This shows that BJP has performed well but due to their management and support from independent Congress may come in power in several local bodies,” he said.
He stated that Congress won only 19 local bodies out of 90 and the rest are managed with the help of independents.
“We won 39 local bodies being in opposition but Congress won only 25 local bodies when they were in opposition. When the BJP government was in power, we won 60 local bodies and Congress has managed only to win 48 local bodies with the help of independents. We have performed better than the Congress in both situations,” Poonia said.
Referring to the statement by Raje loyalists, the BJP Rajasthan chief said that he came to know about it through the media and the group did not approach him with their concerns.
“They have raised their concerns at a party platform instead of in the media. Whatever they are saying will be discussed. Party will analyse the poll results,” he said.A
Denying allegations of ignoring Raje in civic polls, Poonia said that the national leader (Raje, party national vice president) never participate in the local polls.
Poonia said that there are many reasons for the defeat in civic polls and it will be analysed. “We will work to overcome the shortcomings,” Poonia said.
Singhvi, however, said that it will be difficult for party to win next assembly polls by ignoring Raje. “She (Raje) is the most popular leader of our party and people. It will be impossible to return to power without her. The state unit must rally behind her,” Singhvi said.
There are reports of a growing rift between Raje loyalists and the state leadership. Last month in a meeting in the national capital, Raje was not invited in which top leadership of Rajasthan BJP participated. Last week, Raje met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Delhi.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.