The crisis in Rajasthan BJP today intensified with over 30 MLAs loyal to Leader of Opposition Vasundhara Raje offering to resign, a day after she threatened to quit the party over state leader Gulabchand Kataria's proposed political campaign.
Thirty BJP lawmakers and an independent MLA, who supports the party, submitted their resignation to Raje expressing confidence in her leadership in the state, party leaders said.
The lawmakers are now demanding that Raje be declared as "undisputed" chief ministerial candidate for next assembly polls, they said.
Along with the legislators, office bearers and members of the BJP Yuva Morcha also handed over their resignation, said a close aide of Raje.
The party leaders began to arrive at Raje's official residence in civil lines since morning and shouted slogans in her support.
"The MLAs want undisputed leadership of Raje," legislator Bhawani Singh Rajawat told reporters outside Raje's residence.
Besides Rajawat, Kiran Maheshwari, Rajpal Singh Shekhawat, Mohan Lal Gupta, Om Birla, Radheyshyam Ganganagar, Kalyan Singh, Prabhu Saini, Abdul Sageer Khan are among the MLAs who submitted their resignation to Raje, he said.
Kisan Morcha vice president Subhash Mehriya said that the the central leadership should announce Raje's name as the chief ministerial candidate in the assembly polls due next year.
"The office bearers of the morcha also submitted resignations to Raje in order to strengthen her," Morcha state president Sanwar Jat said.
At a meeting of the state party core committee yesterday, Raje had said she would resign from the party's membership if Kataria did not withdraw his decision to take out the "Lok Jagran Yatrqa", after which Kataria announced not to go ahead with his proposed 28-day event.
At the meeting attended by senior party leaders, Raje was understood to have objected to Kataria's plan to take out the 'Yatra' which was seen by a section in BJP as Kataria's move to project himself as the party's chief ministerial face in assembly elections due next year.
Kataria was Rajasthan Home Minister in the previous government headed by Raje.
Terming the opposition to his proposed 'yatra' as "unfortunate", Kataria today said that some of the party leaders deliberately made his campaign an "ego" issue though it was actually aimed at benefiting the party.
Kataria rubbished allegations of some of the party members that it was aimed at projecting himself as the party's face in the state and claimed that his 28-day-long campaign was to highlight the "failure" of Congress at both centre and state level in giving pro-people policies, programmes and good governance.
"It is very unfortunate that a campaign which was aimed at strengthening party in Mewar region, which plays key role in elections, was objected without any sound logic. It was not my personal decision, it was planned with consultation the party's state leadership," Kataria told PTI.