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Rajasthan: In show of strength, Raje’s supporters start ‘jan rasoi’ in ex-CM’s name

Amidst reports of the growing say of the BJP central leadership in state matters and Vasundhara Raje being missing from several programmes of the state unit, the former CM’s supporters have in recent times floated parallel outfits backing her.

Supporters of Vasundhara Raje have started distributing free food in Rajasthan to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative, called ‘Vasundhara Jan Rasoi’, is being seen as a show of strength by allies of the former chief minister, who shares an uneasy relationship with the state BJP leadership.

“Vasundhara Raje ji raised the issue of irregularities in the state government’s Indira Rasoi scheme and appealed to everyone to help people. That is why we started the Vasundhara Jan Rasoi, which is presently operating across all districts,” said Prahlad Gunjal, former MLA from Kota north and a Raje loyalist.

Gunjal said hundreds of food packets are being distributed daily as part of the initiative. “Vasundhara ji is the tallest leader in Rajasthan and there is nobody who commands as much support among the people as her. Merely holding posts in the state executive doesn’t mean that a person has become a mass leader,” he said, seemingly indicating the plum posts given to Raje’s detractors in the BJP’s state executive.

“Vasundhara ji has been an MP, MLA and two-time chief minister of Rajasthan. Her supporters are spread across all districts. We are not only providing food but also helping with Covid-19 relief work,” said Chhabra MLA Pratap Singh Singhvi, another staunch Raje loyalist.

Amidst reports of the growing say of the BJP central leadership in state matters and Raje being missing from several programmes of the state unit, the former CM’s supporters have in recent times floated parallel outfits backing her.

In January, several persons claiming to be Raje’s supporters had floated an outfit named Vasundhara Raje Samarthak Manch Rajasthan, with the aim of restoring her as CM in the 2023 Assembly elections.

Earlier this year, MLAs known to be loyal to Raje had written to the party leadership alleging bias in Assembly proceedings and claiming that several senior legislators were being ignored.

On being asked if the present state leadership of the BJP is also participating in the initiative by Raje supporters, Singhvi said, “We are all leaders who have spent their entire lives in BJP.”

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