Grass root worker expecting for a change, active party functionary scrambling to find new pillars of strength and leadership unabashedly declaring that there will be no regime change. BJP is Rajasthan is facing dilemma as heart and soul of workers lies with Narendra Modi but they are made to live on with Vasundhara Raje, albeit forcefully, mindful of perception of proximity to power they enjoys in public eyes.
Vasundhara Raje is posing confidently, sure of her luck, lineage and liaison, that she will break the vicious cycle of alternating government going on in Rajasthan since 1998. But chinks are visible, though not to the laymen’s eyes till now. Her coterie full of middlemen, conspirators, blackmailers and fly by night operators are showing first signs that ship may sink as they are scrambling over one another to earn from anything and everything they can lay their hands on. It is well known that, it is the rats who abandon the sinking ship first.
So, the question being discussed in power corridors, coffee houses, page-3 parties and press club in Jaipur is that who will be next Chief Minister, even if BJP rides on Narendra Modi wave in 2018 assembly election in Rajasthan. And, the answer is that it will definitely not going to be – Vasundhara Raje.
Reasons are many. With Narendra Modi achieving iconic status after UP polls and Amit Shah being dubbed as ‘New Chankaya of Indian Politics’, the duo would not need any regional satrap to help them out in achieving their goals in 2019 general election. On the contrary, regional satrap, especially free willed like Vasundhara Raje, is not going to fit the scheme of Modi-Shah combine. Secondly, after 2014 victory, Modi-Shah team has put only those people in throne – who are either their old allies or carry a public perception of honest politician, preferably those like Devendra Fadnavis, Sarbanand Sonowal or Yogi Aditya Nath, who do not carry any burden of past. Vasundhara Raje fails to comply with both these criterion. Third, with Rajnath Singh losing his spur for his dubious role in selection process of UP chief minister and Nitin Gadkari concentrating on pocketing toll-projects, Raje has lost support of a strategic partner and a friend – respectively, to hold her hand in future turbulence. Moreover, Nitin Gadkari may devote more time and effort to water his RSS roots than calculating peeing-progress of his plants and pots in his backyard vegetable garden. Arun Jaitley, another long standing friend, may be fighting his own battle of survival when call from Rajasthan may come.
So, why is Vasundhara Raje confident?
She is confident because of only factor which has worked in her favor since #Lalitgate – TINA, there is no alternative. She is right to an extent also as there is no second line leadership of BJP in Rajasthan, who can fit in the shoes of Vasundhara Raje. Third, fourth, fifth line of leadership comprising of Gulab Chand Kataria, Rajendra Rathore, Arun Chaturvedi, Ghanshyam Tiwari, Narpat Singh Rajvi are no match for Vasundhara Raje. Party workers have not forgotten surrender of Gulab Chand Kataria and Arun Chaturvedi before the ‘Queen’ in the run up to 2013 assembly election. Rajendra Rathore is wily, but he can survive only as corroborator not as a competitor of Vasundhara Raje. Rootless Rajyavardhan Rathore may prove to be a onetime wonder in politics while for Arjun Meghwal and VP Singh Badnor, replacing Raje would just be day dreaming in their ivory towers. Om Mathur will remain Modi’s man in Rajasthan as invisible hand powering confidence of grass root workers while new crop of SUV totting BJP leaders may prefer Sunil Bansal.
But, will Modi put Vasundhara Raje back on throne of Rajasthan in 2018?
Logical answer is ‘No’, but politics is game of uncertainties. Firmly is her seat, Vasundhara Raje may look pretty to her courtier- whose survival depend on her, but ‘Ananta-Vijaya’ may prove to be mirage. Nobody so far, is asking why – at least not Vasundhara Raje, till now.
We are also not in hurry to answer, Bon Voyage…!!