New Delhi: Dismissing reports of differences among BJP leaders in Rajasthan as a “communication gap” that has been sorted out, the party’s election in-charge for the state Prakash Javadekar says the entire unit in the poll-bound state is behind Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
The senior Union minister also asserted that the combination of Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s charisma and BJP chief Amit Shah’s political strategy is the party’s biggest strength in the upcoming assembly polls.
Rajasthan is scheduled to go to the polls in a single phase on December 7. The counting of votes for all 200 constituencies will take place on December 11.
Asked about Congress’ criticism that there are differences within the BJP’s state unit, Javadekar told PTI in an interview that all is well.
“There were no differences as such. There was only a communication gap and now everything has been sorted out. The entire state unit is working overtime to ensure BJP’s victory and is unitedly behind Vasundhara-ji, who is the most popular leader in the state,” he asserted.
Javadekar’s comments follow Congress state chief Sachin Pilot’s claim that there were “differences” between Raje and Shah and the two rarely shared a stage. “Whenever Amit Shah comes, Vasundhara Raje goes somewhere else. They are not ready to be present in the same district,” Pilot said recently.
The minister also emphasised that the BJP has an edge as compared to the Congress. While the ruling party is clear about its leader, who is acceptable to all sections of the society, whereas Congress is a divided house, he said.
“We are clear about our leadership and the entire party is united behind her. But the Congress is in a dilemma and there is huge infighting in the opposition party between the Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot camps,” Javadekar said.
Asked about anti-incumbency and the tradition of change of guard every five years in Rajasthan, he said the party has set new trends and broken all traditions under the leadership of the Modi-Shah duo.
“From 2014 onwards, the BJP has been expanding while the Congress is shrinking. The opposition party has become irrelevant and the entire vote base of the party has shifted towards our side because of Modi-ji’s charismatic leadership and his credibility, Javadekar said.
The BJP has always been a symbol of the development in the state, the minister said, describing the tenure of the Raje government as a “golden period” in the history of Rajasthan.
“The five year period of 2013-18 in a way is a golden period in development of the state, especially in terms of infrastructure. The state has grown by leaps and bounds,” Javadekar said.
He also mentioned various welfare schemes started by the state government, including the Bhamashah Yojana, a health insurance scheme.
The desert state has always seen scarcity of water but the BJP government ensured water reaches every village and every farm, he said.
Replying to a question on the party’s in the by-polls in the state, Javadekar said, “We lost only two by-polls, but we won in many other local elections in the state. The party lost mainly due to the wrong choice of candidates and local factors.”
This is Javadekar’s second assignment this year. He was earlier appointed as in-charge of assembly elections in Karnataka, where the BJP emerged as the single largest party.