Vasundhara Raje threatens to quit BJP

Rajasthan BJP Rifts deepen further after Leader of the Opposition Vasundhara Raje threatened to resign over former home minister Gulab Chand Kataria’s planned yatra in South Rajasthan. A stormy core-committee meeting at the party headquarters here on Saturday night ended after Kataria decided to call off his yatra “in the interest of the party”. The feud between two groups — Raje’s supporters and RSS-backed leaders — began after Kataria announced a 28-day Lok Jagran Yatra in tribal-dominated South Rajasthan from May 2. Raje’s supporters saw the move as “one-upmanship” and Rajsamandh MLA Kiran Maheshwari petitioned the party high command to cancel the yatra, since the state and national leadership were not consulted nor involved in the yatra. However, senior BJP office-bearers stated that the high command insisted the party sort the issue out in a core committee meeting and only suspended the planned yatra till Saturday.
"Despite the discussions in the core committee and our request that this yatra should be postponed, he wants to go ahead with the yatra. But I feel any yatra should strengthen the party and its workers and not create differences. Under the circumstances as I can't represent the voice of our workers, I feel I should resign from the party," Ms Raje said. Mr Kataria, the Home Minister of Rajasthan in the former Raje government, is considered the BJP's strong man in the Mewar region of south Rajasthan, but the Vasundhara faction sees the yatra as a challenge to her supremacy, and is opposing it. They allege the yatra was announced unilaterally - a charge that Mr Kataria denies. However, minutes after Ms Raje threatened to quit, Mr Kataria, who was earlier adamant of going ahead with his Lok Jagaran Yatra, decided to call it off. "Vasundhara ji has threatened to resign as she is angry over my yatra. But I am a loyal worker of the party and its organisation and to keep that intact I've decided to cancel my yatra. I am a soldier of the party and will make whatever sacrifice is needed in the interest of the party," said Mr Kataria.