In a major show of strength, Rajasthan BJP chief Satish Poonia gathered a massive crowd of 80,000-one lakh people from all parts of the state and also gave a message of unity in the party by putting former Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje's picture on the stage.
The occasion was Poonia's birthday on Sunday and the venue was his residence. Party workers from all 200 state Assembly seats trooped in for the whole day to wish him success.
A stage was set up in front of Poonia's residence. All the roads leading to his residence were jam-packed for over eight hours. A poster put up on the stage became a centre of attraction as it had a picture of Vasundhara Raje. Her photo was removed from the posters at the party's office and also her face has not been seen in any of the bypoll campaigning posters too.
Vasundhara Raje has been maintaining a distance from the party office and has not attended most of the party meetings too.
Clearly a move to send a political message, Poonia's birthday was meant to reinforce that the party is united.
The city was loaded with posters greeting Poonia on his birthday. He was also congratulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J.P. Nadda among many others.
Many former MLAs from the Raje camp also greeted him on his birthday.
Party sources said that it was for the first time that such a large crowd had gathered for any saffron party president in the state.
Poonia while speaking on the occasion said, "I am overwhelmed with this love and support. We shall surely conquer 2023 polls for we have support of the complete state," he added.