Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Wednesday dismissed speculation about factionalism within the BJP's Rajasthan unit after veteran leader Vasundhara Raje was left off the party's Parivartan Sankalp Yatra on her home turf.
The absence of Raje, a former Rajasthan chief minister and Union minister, from the event in Jhalawar -- which she has represented for 33 years in various capacities -- triggered speculation of a rift within the party.
However, Dhami -- who arrived in Kota for the event in Jhalawar -- brushed aside the speculations.
He also expressed confidence that the BJP will return to power in Rajasthan, where assembly elections are due later this year.
Asked about the Congress' claims of factionalism in the party due to Raje's absence from the programme, Dhami told reporters, "The BJP is the largest party not only in the country but the world. Everyone in the party is working unitedly and the BJP will return to power here (Rajasthan)."
Former BJP MLA Heeralal Nagar confirmed that Raje is not scheduled to take part in the programme in Jhalawar and said she is likely to be assigned some other responsibility.
On Tuesday, the BJP's Parivartan Sankalp Yatra entered Jhalawar, which Raje has represented five times in the Lok Sabha. She also represented Jhalrapatan as an MLA on four occasions. Raje's son Dushyant Singh, the MP from Jhalawar-Baran, is also not scheduled to take part in the yatra.
The Parivartan Sankalp Yatra will enter Kota through Ramganjmandi, Modak and Kanwas on Thursday, Nagar said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Dhami also spoke on the introduction of the women's reservation bill in Parliament.
"Narendra Modi is the first prime minister since Independence who has worked for 'Matra Shakti' from the very first day and launched several schemes, such as the Ujjwala Yojana, for women," Dhami said.
"The uplift of 'Matra Shakti' has been his primary task," he added and thanked the prime minister for tabling the women's reservation bill in Parliament.
The government on Tuesday introduced the Narishakti Vandan Adhiniyam, reserving 33 per cent seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, reviving a bill pending for 27 years and blending history, politics and societal imperatives on the first day in the new Parliament building.
However, provisions in the bill make it clear that the reservation will come into effect only after the delimitation exercise, or the redrawing of constituencies, taking into account data of the census conducted after it becomes a law.
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