New Delhi, Feb 2: Former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje is set to lead the BJP in the upcoming assembly elections, party president Rajnath Singh said on Saturday. It was the first big political decision taken by Singh since he took over the reins from Nitin Gadkari on January 23.
Earlier, party sources said Raje had told Singh that there was no point in announcing her as the CM candidate unless the move was backed officially.
Singh also made Gulab Chand Katheria, known to be Raje's critics, the leader of the Opposition in the assembly, a post that had been held by Raje so far. Welcoming the decision, Raje said the BJP worked like a family where every member has a role to play. She said they would work more to strengthen the party.
The BJP now has CM candidates in three of the four crucial states going to the polls this year. End. Incumbents Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh will lead the party in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgrah, respectively.
The situation in Delhi has remained tricky for the BJP, however. It is still to find a candidate there to match the charisma, goodwill and credibility of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. A party source in Delhi said the BJP's state in Delhi is like that of the Congress in Gujarat where the latter has failed to find a face able to challenge Modi. The BJP was unseated from power in Delhi in 1998 and has not been able to regain it back from Dikshit.
The state's BJP president, Vijendra Gupta, tried to make a mark in the state's politics but sources said he failed because he lacked the charisma. The party was looking for a candidate whose appeal would have an impact beyond the voters of Old Delhi to the migrants from other states.