Sunday, March 3, 2024

Buzz grows on BJP’s choice for CMs in three states

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New Delhi, Dec 4: A day after the BJP scored big wins in three assembly polls, talks within the party shifted to the likely chief ministerial picks in these states, with senior leaders holding discussions on Monday.
There was no official word on what transpired in a meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda. However, sources said consultations have been going on within the party before its top brass takes the final call.
The central leadership will soon be appointing observers to oversee meetings of newly elected MLAs of the party in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where they will elect their leaders.
While there has been no word from senior party leaders on the likely chief ministerial picks, many within the BJP hold the view that the massive mandate it has got in the three states should be seen as a strong statement of wider popular support for its policies and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.
BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who has been elected as an MLA from Madhya Pradesh, shared the impression, asserting that it was Modi’s leadership behind the massive mandate and not any particular scheme of the state government headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
When asked if the ‘Ladli Behna’ scheme played a role in the big win in the state, he shot back on Saturday, “Was the Ladli Behna scheme there in Chhattisgarh or Rajasthan.” Some party leaders said if the leadership wants to usher in a new line of leadership in the three states, then this was an opportune time.
However, Chouhan remains a strong contender for the post of chief minister following the party’s win with a two-thirds majority. Other state satraps such as Union ministers Prahlad Patel, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Narendra Singh Tomar besides Vijayvargiya are being seen as among the other probables for the post.
Asked how he sees the results, including in Madhya Pradesh, Patel said, “It was all due to the magic named Modi.” He also credited Amit Shah’s poll strategy for the victories.
In Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, there is a strong view among party leaders that the leadership may opt for new faces even though former chief ministers Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh have also been elected as MLAs in the two states, respectively.
Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Ram Meghwal, state party president C P Joshi, Diya Kumari, who was among the more prominent faces during the campaign, and Mahant Balaknath are being talked about as probables for the post of chief minister in Rajasthan.
In Chhattisgarh, former chief minister Raman Singh, state BJP president Arun Kumar Sao, leader of opposition Dharamlal Kaushik and former IAS officer O P Chaudhary are seen by political watchers as among the contenders for the top job.
Except for Singh, all three leaders come from the Other Backward Classes (OBC).
It must be said, though, that the BJP leadership has often surprised observers with its chief ministerial picks in the past. (PTI)

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