Sources close to the BJP have disclosed that the spat between Shah and Raje is being seen as a major reason behind BJP’s below-par performance in the western state, where the BJP managed to win just 72 seats in the 200-member assembly.
Not only fall in % of votes crossed double digit compare to 2014 election but the BJP’s final tally in the 2018 elections was a drastic reduction over the number of seats it had won in the previous state elections in 2013, when the saffron party had won from 163 seats.
In Contrast , a rejuvenated Congress Party, on the other hand, won from 99 seats, a significant improvement over its performance in 2013, when it had won just 21 seats.
“Raje handed Shah a list of 200 candidates. Shah tore the list there and then and chucked in the bin. Then, Shah handed the list of candidates he wanted for the elections. Returning Shah’s gesture in kind, even Raje tore the list and threw it in the bin,” said sources.
“There was an eventual settlement that Raje would decide the candidates on 80 seats, while Shah and the central leadership would select the candidates on the remaining 120,” added sources.
Sources further revealed that Raje’s decision to be on the stage at the time of swearing-in of new CM Ashok Gehlot and deputy CM Sachin Pilot was intended to send out a message to Shah, who had “deliberately” kept out Raje from crucial election rallies in the lead-up to elections.