The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday announced two key election committees for the Congress-run Rajasthan, with former chief minister Vasundhara Raje not being made a member of any of them.
Later, the party launched a membership drive in Jaipur and held a core committee meeting but Raje was not present in any of the events.
Apart from her, former state president and deputy leader of opposition Satish Poonia, leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat are not part of the two committees.
The 21-member election management committee is headed by former MP Narayan Panchariya. Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal will lead the election manifesto panel, called the Pradesh Sankalp Patra (manifesto) Committee.
The party is expected to announce a third panel – an election campaign committee – for the state in the coming weeks, before the year-end assembly polls.
When asked about Raje's non-inclusion in the poll panels, BJP state in-charge Arun Singh said she will campaign in the election.
"She is the national vice president of the party. She has a big role to play. She has been the chief minister of the state twice. She will campaign in the election. We all respect her," he told reporters.
He said the election management committee has experienced leaders to manage day-to-day poll-related activities.
Singh also said the election manifesto committee has representation from all sections of society, including Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, so that their expectations can be incorporated in the manifesto.
BJP's state election in-charge and Union minister Pralhad Joshi said both state and central leaders of the party will campaign for the crucial polls.
Arun Singh said the party will take out four "Parivartan Yatras" in the state in September. These will be led by different leaders.
"Our strategy is ready. I have full confidence that people will give the mandate to the BJP and we will get a historic victory," he said.
Asked about the role of Vasundhara Raje, Joshi said the state and central leaders will campaign in the elections as required.
"Where a state-level leader will be required, a state-level leader will campaign and where there is a need for a central leader, a central leader will do campaigning,” he said.
After the announcement of the committees, the party launched a membership drive at Khandelwal Sabha Bhawan in Jaipur's Vaishali Nagar.
Pralhad Joshi, Arun Singh, C P Joshi, Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Kailash Chaudhary, national secretary Alka Gurjar and other leaders were present in the drive.
Later, a meeting of the BJP core committee was held in the party's state headquarters in which its members discussed organisational and election-related matters.
The meeting was attended by Pralhad Joshi, Arun Singh, C P Joshi, Rajendra Rathore, Satish Poonia, Kailash Chaudhary and a few other members.
However, Raje was not present in the meeting.
The 21-member election management committee is headed by former MP Narayan Panchariya, while Union minister Arjun Ram Meghwal will lead the manifesto committee.
The announcement was made by BJP state president C P Joshi and Arun Singh at the party office here.
Rajya Sabha members Ghanshyam Tiwari and Kirori Lal Meena, national secretary Alka Singh Gurjar, former assembly deputy speaker Rao Rajendra Singh, former Union minister Subhash Maharia, former state vice president Prabhu Lal Saini and Rakhi Rathore have been made co-convenors in the 25-member manifesto committee.
In the election management committee, former state general secretary Onkar Singh Lakhawat, party's national spokesperson and MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, state general secretaries Bhajan Lal and Damodar Agarwal, former information commissioner C M Meena and Kanhaiya Lal Bairwal will be the co-convenors.