Rajasthan BJP leader quits party

Jaipur, Sep 17 (IANS) Ahead of the Rajasthan assembly elections later this year, a BJP leader quit the party Tuesday, accusing state unit chief Vasundhara Raje of functioning like an autocrat.

The state unit's former spokesperson and former member of the BJP's national economic forum Sunil Bhargava said he had sent his resignation letter to party president Rajnath Singh.

The resignation is seen by political analysts as an indication of the growing dissidence against former chief minister Raje being projected as the chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming assembly elections.

Bhargava's resignation letter, a copy of which has been accessed by IANS, said that the workers devoted to party were feeling completely left out and confused about their role in the elections in the year end.

He accused Raje of an "autocratic style of functioning".

Bhargava had made his displeasure known over Raje's elevation within the party in the past too. In July, he wrote a letter to Rajnath Singh accusing Raje of encouraging factionalism.

"I had written a letter to you (Rajnath Singh) on July 12 drawing your attention to the problems plaguing the BJP in the state, but I am really sad that two months have passed since I wrote that letter nothing concrete has been done to improve things in the party in the state," he wrote in his resignation.

He said Raje remained away from party affairs, for over four years, and returned only to enjoy being in power here.

"The party's efforts to come to power in 2014 Lok Sabha elections will be realised only when it wins in the assembly elections. But in Rajasthan, it seems difficult for the party to win as the workers are in a state of confusion due to the way Raje is functioning," said Bhargava.

Raje was named the chief of the BJP's state unit in February.

In an effort to placate senior leader Gulab Chand Kataria, who was at loggerheads with Raje, the party leadership appointed him leader of opposition in the assembly.

Raje had recently concluded her Suraj Sankalpa Yatra, a 78-day-long election campaigning tour across the state.

BJP's prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had attended the function held in Jaipur Sep 10 to mark the yatra's completion.

"I have been a committed worker of the party for the last over 40 years, but I feel that party in the state is being now run by sycophants. Decisions are being taken by people who are close to Raje and are from outside the state," he said alleging that Raje ill-treated party workers.

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