7 Dec 2023

Suspense Continues as BJP Engages in Intensive Deliberations Regarding CMs in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh

New Delhi: The critical matter of selecting Chief Ministers for three key states ahead of next year's general elections continued on Wednesday with a high-level meeting of BJP leaders at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official residence.

Earlier, the 12 Members of Parliament who resigned from Parliament after winning the assembly polls, had a meeting with the Prime Minister. Sources suggest that this might be the final decision-making meeting.

Among the 12 MPs who resigned were prominent figures such as Narendra Tomar, Prahlad Patel, Riti Pathak, Rakesh Singh, and Uday Pratap Singh from Madhya Pradesh, and Rajyavardhan Rathore, Kirodi Lal Meena, and Diya Kumari from Rajasthan.

This week, the BJP successfully secured victories in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, and maintained its dominance in Madhya Pradesh amid growing anti-incumbency sentiments.

The party had entered the polls in all three states without a Chief Ministerial candidate, rallying under the banner of PM Modi, a strategy that proved to be highly successful.

Speculation has been rife about exploration of new faces

Now, with the triumph, the challenging question of who will lead these states has surfaced. Speculation has been rife about the exploration of new faces.

The three states collectively hold 65 Lok Sabha seats, and a misstep in choosing the right candidate could be costly for the BJP in the 2024 elections.

Sources suggest that PM Modi is inclined towards selecting candidates based on merit rather than caste. There is speculation that a tribal leader could be chosen for Chhattisgarh, a representative from the Backward Classes in Madhya Pradesh, and a Rajput in Rajasthan.

The selected candidate is expected to be from the youth, working classes, or a woman, someone who can anchor the party in the state and work quietly without resorting to flashy statements and decisions.

Prominent state leaders have left the decision to the Central leadership

Prominent state leaders such as Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan, Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, and four-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while still in the running, have left the decision to the Central leadership.

Rajasthan has a particularly long list of contenders, including Ms. Raje, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, party veteran Kirori Lal Meena, and state BJP chief CP Joshi.

Shivraj played a key role in BJP's historic victory in MP

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who played a key role in the BJP's historic victory in Madhya Pradesh, hinted at the party's commitment to welfare schemes such as "Laadli Bahna," emphasizing their dedication to the welfare of the last person in society.

In addition to Chouhan, other potential candidates being discussed include Union ministers Prahlad Singh Patel and Jyotiraditya Scindia, both leaders from the Other Backward Classes, which constitute around half the state's population. BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar are also in contention.

Dark horse candidates in the race include two Brahmin leaders: State party chief and first-time MP VD Sharma, and fifth-time MLA and a minister in the outgoing state cabinet, Rajendra Shukla, both hailing from the Vindhya region.

In Chhattisgarh, potential contenders include former Chief Minister Raman Singh, state BJP president Arun Kumar Sao, leader of the opposition Dharamlal Kaushik, and former IAS officer O P Chaudhary.

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