Will Mathur's appointment strengthen unity in BJP Raj unit?

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Jaipur, Jan 6 (UNI) Amid high-level efforts for evolving amicable way for strengthening unity within the ruling BJP Rajasthan unit, newly-appointed party state president Om Mathur will take over charge from outgoing president Mahesh Sharma here tomorrow.

Mr Mathur's taking over, scheduled to be solemnise at 1100 hrs tomorrow at the party state headquarters here, will clear the uncertainty prevailing over the change of the guard in the ruling party since his appointment on January 1 this week, in the wake of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's unhappiness over his selection.

However, the appointment was unlikely to solve immediately the problem of factionalism and infighting in the party as ''bitterness'' created by Ms Raje's ''over reaction'' against Mr Mathur's appointment might take sometime to subside.

The demand of change of leadership in the party state unit was raised by a group of BJP leaders, symbolised as dissidents in the party politics, for several months and Ms Raje was opposing the demand and insisting for present incumbent Mr Sharma's continuance.

The sudden announcement of Mr Mathur's appointment came as a surprise to the Chief Minister and she had wasted no time to rush to New Delhi to record her ''dissent and unhappiness'' over the change effected by BJP national president Rajnath Singh.

She undertook two visits to New Delhi within three days to persuade the leadership to reconsider the move and recall Mr Mathur. Her third meeting with the leadership slated for this evening.

Ms Raje had also tried to seek intervention from Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani to Mr Singh to reverse the appointment but the latter was unrelented.

Mr Singh had reportedly impressed upon the Chief Minister to allow Mr Mathur to work to gear up the organisation to contest the Assembly election due to be held by the year end, under her leadership.

BJP functionaries close to the Chief Minister said Ms Raje was unhappy over the manner of appointment as she was not taken into confidence by the leadership before making the announcement.

Besides this, the Chief Minister was of the view that conceding to dissidents' demand of a change of leadership would convey a ''bad signal'' among the party and the masses and would weaken her position.

She was also not happy over Mr Sharma's replacement by a candidate of politically less significant social group and even reportedly suggested three names of candidates from the Brahmin community to replace Mr Sharma if the move was so inevitable.

Mr Singh, who was reportedly enjoying support of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his decision to effect change, was firm on his stand and he had opted to hold a meeting jointly with Ms Raje, Mr Mathur and party state general secretary Prakash Chand in New Delhi today to evolve unity and amicable working equations among them and other party functionaries in the state.

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