Vasundhara Raje, Balaknath or a new face? Rajasthan sees 'resort politics', key meetings as BJP mulls CM pick
From meetings with BJP's top leadership to allegations of “resort politics” — Here's what all has been happening in Rajasthan as suspense of chief minister's name lingers.
Who will be Rajasthan's next Chief Minister? As the suspense lingers, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and key CM contenders — Vasundhara Raje and Yogi Balaknath — met party leadership over the week. While "resort" politics — allegedly led by Raje's son Dushyant Singh — unfolded, Balaknath said in a recent tweet that he is "yet to gain experience under the guidance of the Prime Minister".
Balaknath is known as ‘Rajasthan ka Yogi’ and is the eighth mahant of Baba Mast Nath Math. He won from his constituency, Tijara, by a margin of 6,173 votes, defeating the Congress candidate Imran Khan.
Meeting with BJP's top leaders, 'show of strength'
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje met BJP national president JP Nadda in Delhi on December 7. Meanwhile, Mahant Balak Nath met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the same day, Business Today reported.
Before visiting Delhi, Raje had met about 25 BJP MLAs just a day after the election results. Though the MLAs termed it a courtesy meeting, they said they would support Raje if the party leadership chooses her for the post in the state, news agency PTI reported.
The MLAs, who had visited Raje's residence in Jaipur, included Kalicharan Saraf, Babu Singh Rathore, Prem Chand Bairwa, Govind Ranipuria, Kalulal Meena, KK Vishnoi, Pratap Singh Singhvi, Gopichand Meena, Bahadur Singh Koli, Shankar Singh Rawat, Manju Baghmar, Vijay Singh Chaudhary, Pushpendra Singh and Shatrughan Gautam.
Raje has been has been the chief minister of Rajasthan twice from 2003 to 2008 and from 2013 to 2018. In the 2023 election, she won from the Jhalrapatan seat.
Other CM contenders
Some reports claim that the BJP wants a fresh CM face.
Apart from Raje and Balak Nath, Diya Kumari, Rajyavarardhan Singh Rathore and, Union Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Meghwal are believed to be among the top contenders for the post. Kumari has been elected MLA from Vidyadhar Nagar, while Rathore has won the Jhotwara seat. Read more about top Rajasthan CM contenders here
On Wednesday, BJP sources had earlier told news agency ANI that all BJP MPs, who won the Rajasthan Assembly Elections, have resigned. "As of now, a total of 10 MPs have resigned... BJP President JP Nadda led the delegation of these MPs during the meeting with the PM, Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman," sources said.
The BJP, which wrested Rajasthan from the Congress, won 115 of the 199 seats for which polling was conducted on November 25.
Earlier this week, five newly-elected MLAs visited a resort on the outskirts of Jaipur. The move created a buzz with Vasundhara Raje's son Dushyant Singh being accused of "resort politics". Dushyant Singh is an MP from Jhalawar-Baran.
The father of MLA Lalit Meena claimed that MLA Kanwar Lal Meena forced his son to stay at the resort. "Kanwar Lal Meena asked my son to stay there as it was the instructions of Dushyant Singh," Hemraj Meena, Lalit Meena's father was quoted by ANI as saying.
Later, Kanwar Lal Meena issued a press statement refuting the allegations. He said that the allegations against him and Dushyant Singh were baseless.
“The allegation made by MLA Lalit Meena's father, Hemraj Meena, is completely wrong...We all are MLAs from Jhalawar-Baran Lok Sabha constituency, who after winning, along with MLA Lalit Meena, went to the RSS and BJP office in Baran," Kanwar Lal Meena was quoted by PTI as saying.
He said that MP Dushyant Singh was in the Lok Sabha that day. “His presence can be seen in the Lok Sabha. He has been in Delhi since then. I did not talk to the MP during this period," he said.
When contacted, Lalit Meena refused to divulge details. "Whatever happened that night, I informed the party leaders. The party is my family and it is our family matter," he told PTI.
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