Rajasthan BJP dissidents soften stand, join meetings

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Jaipur, Nov 20 (UNI) The dissident leaders of Rajasthan BJP have softened their stand against the state BJP leadership ''for the time being'' and joined in the meetings of the state office bearers and state government ministers here yesterday after a hiatus.

The dissidents were staying away from party and cabinet meetings for several months in their quest for a leadership change in Rajasthan.

These leaders including Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, Education Minister Ghanshyam Tiwari, former Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's son-in-law and Industries Minister Narpat Singh Rajvi, Welfare Minister Madan Dilawar and Government Chief Whip Mahavir Prasad Jain participated in the joint meeting of the BJP state office bearers and the members of State Council of Ministers held at the Chief Minister's official residence here last night.

However, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje herself could not attend the meeting as she has been sick for about a week and was staying away from all public engagements.

The meeting, which was aimed at forging better coordination among party functionaries and ministers and for chalking out strategy for celebrating the fourth anniversary of the installation of the Vasundhara Raje Government in the state on December 8, was jointly conducted by the state BJP President Mahesh Sharma and Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria.

Prior to this, a separate meeting of party state office bearers was held at the party state headquarters here yesterday afternoon.

This meeting was also attended by several functionaries like sitting MLA Nathu Singh Gurjar, state vice-president Rajendra Gehlot, office bearers Arun Chaturvedi and Phool Chand Bhinda, who were staying away from such meetings for a long time.

The dissidents' activities were denting the party and the government's functioning in the state for long. Even the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha LK Advani's two programmes, including the party executive meeting at the Sanwaliaji town recently, were marred by ''boycott'' by dissidents and the party high command was forced to take cognizance and discuss the Rajasthan issue at the party Parliamentary Board and Core Group meetings in New Delhi.

Political pundits feel that the stern gestures of the high command and denial of ticket to dissidents in Gujarat assembly elections had made dissidents soften and bow down.

However, the dissidents' camp put it otherwise.

A dissident leader told UNI that the so called truce was for the time being as none of the sides had got anything so far.

He said ''We have attended the meeting as we were never targeting someone for personal gains and we have feelers that some ''solution'' was being worked out''.


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