New Delhi: With the counting of votes to begin on Sunday, five days from now, political parties in Rajasthan are brimming with speculation and rumours. With most predictions, including those in the “satta bazaar”, talking of the BJP returning to power in the desert state, the saffron party is abuzz with speculation on whether the top brass will back the Maharani, former CM Vasundhara Raje, considered as the frontrunner for the CM’s post within the organization, or bring in a “new face” to check factionalism.
The BJP fought the election in a state with many claimants for the top post, without a chief ministerial candidate, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. While the result is yet to be announced, the race has begun in the BJP on the post of chief minister. Besides Ms Raje, the names of MP and member of Jaipur royal family, Diya Kumari, who contested the Assembly polls, former state unit chief Satish Poonia, Leader of the Opposition Rajendra Rathore are also doing the rounds. Another name that some BJP leaders claim could be considered is that of a first-time MP, Mahant Balaknath Yogi, whose constituency saw the highest voting percentage. Some BJP leaders also claim that Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat’s name is also under consideration.
Speculation is also rife that a senior BJP leader, with whom Ms Raje mended her ties recently, is in touch with leaders of his community to back her candidature for the top post. While most poll predictions have given a clear majority to the BJP, there are rumours that the higher the margin of the party’s victory, the lesser are the chances of Ms Raje getting the top post.
The BJP fielded over two dozen new faces for the Rajasthan election, for which the voting took place on November 25. The counting of votes will take place on December 3.
Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party’s campaign focused on its promise of benefits of a “double-engine sarkar” and the attack on the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government’s “failures”, including deteriorating the law and order situation, the rampant spurt in crimes against women, “failed promises” and appeasement politics.