Shekhawat appointed convener of Polls Management Committee; free hand seems denied to the CM
New Delhi, Sep 7: Tug-of-war between the Rajasthan Bharatiya Janata Party and the Central leadership of the party seems to continue as the party has appointed Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat as convener of the Assembly Election Management Committee for Rajasthan. Actually the Central BJP wanted to make Shekhawat state BJP president but his candidature was watered down by the Rajasthan CM.
Now, Shekhawat will be part of the state election procedure against the wishes of the CM. The party chief Amit Shah has entrusted state party president Madan Lal Saini with the responsibility to head a 16-member panel that will take all the important decisions regarding the forthcoming Rajasthan assembly elections. The CM is one of its members while Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and Rajasthan BJP spokesperson Satish Punia are joint conveners of the panel.
Shekhawat is an MP from the Jodhpur Lok Sabha constituency. Party insiders said that his appointment was very significant in view of differences between the Rajasthan CM and the party chief that had delayed appointment of the new state president for around three month. The CM had her last word on this by getting appointed a president of her choice.
This is to recall that Raje loyalist Ashok Parnami had resigned as the Rajasthan BJP president chief on April 16, due to party making some changes in the organisation in the aftermath party's debacle in the by-elections of the two Lok Sabha seats in the state and one Assembly election.
Sources said that the BJP chief wanted to appoint Shekhawat as the state party president which was opposed by the Rajasthan CM chief as she wanted Srichand Kriplani to be appointed as state party chief. So a compromise candidate was made state party chief. Actually the name of Shekhawat virtually brought division in the Rajasthan BJP with a section of leaders expressing their reservations over his appointment as state party chief. So the compromise was reached and the party appointed Rajya Sabha member Saini as the state party president in June.
Two state ministers Yunus Khan and Rajendra Rathore have also been included as members. Rajya Sabha member Kirodi Lal Meena also finds a place in the committee. Union minister CR Choudhary and state home minister Gulabchand Kataria will also be part of the team.