Amit Shah vs BJP CM; Modi to intervene

Amit Shah vs BJP CM; Modi to intervene

As Rajasthan elections near, the stand-off between Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and BJP National President Amit Shah doesn't seem to have a closure.  Raje is keen to back a large number of sitting MLAs, who are known to be from her camp. However, Shah has a separate list of candidates prepared on the basis of the feedback of the party workers through an exercise with the involvement of central leaders hailing from the state. Additionally, Shah's high-handedness is annoying many leaders on Raje's camp.

While Raje is BJP's face in Rajasthan, much of the party's political strategy and mobilisation of workers is being driven by Amit Shah, in clear indication of the rift between the two. The Chief Minister is known to be a close confidant of BJP veteran L. K. Advani who has had a prolonged tug-of-war with BJP central leadership headed by Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. In fact, Advani also had a tiff with BJP High Command over the appointment of a new state BJP president following the resignation of Ashok Parnami in April.

Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah has been holding rallies without CM Vasundhara Raje, something he rarely does in other poll-bound states. This is in stark contrast to the BJP president's engagements in the other two major poll-bound states - Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh - where the chief ministers, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh, join him during his campaign.

Party insiders say Raje had offered to accompany Shah when he was in the state for meetings. "This offer was rejected. Shah said she should focus on her yatra," said a BJP leader, adding that the party's events have been designed in a manner that the two won't cross each other in any region.

Apparently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upset with the ongoing ref and has decided to intervene and bring both Shah and Raje onto a middle ground. "Modi will listen to both sides and come to a decision. Even Raje feels that he will have a better feedback on the candidates," a party source said.