12 Dec 2023

Who will be chief minister of Rajasthan: Will BJP stick with Vasundhara Raje or spring another surprise?

The anticipation surrounding the appointment of the new chief minister of Rajasthan is expected to end on Tuesday evening during a BJP Legislature Party meeting scheduled for 4 pm.

Bhajanlal Sharma, BJP state general secretary and MLA, confirmed that the meeting will be held at the party's state headquarters, with the presence of BJP central observer Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and co-observers Saroj Pandey, national vice president, and Vinod Tawde, national general secretary.

Sharma emphasized the mandatory attendance of all newly elected MLAs at the meeting, where the announcement of the new chief minister will take place.

Among the top contenders for the chief minister's post in Rajasthan, a state recently won by the BJP, are former chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Will BJP opt for a generational shift by introducing a new leader?

There has been an air of suspense regarding whether the BJP would stick with the two-term Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje or opt for a generational shift by introducing a new leader at the forefront. The momentum favoring the latter scenario increased, especially in the wake of the BJP's unexpected choices in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

On Sunday, the party placed its bet on the tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai as the Chief Minister in Chhattisgarh, and on Tuesday, it declared Manoj Yadav, an OBC face, as its choice in Madhya Pradesh, putting an end to Shivraj Singh Chouhan's two-decade rule.

Responding to speculations about the potential selection of a Dalit leader for the chief ministerial role in Rajasthan, Arun Singh addressed the matter on Monday by stating that "everything will be revealed tomorrow."

With the BJP securing 115 seats out of the 199 contested, and one constituency experiencing a polling delay due to a candidate's demise, speculation has grown around potential candidates. Recent visits by several BJP MLAs to former chief minister Raje have been viewed as a display of support, fueling expectations of a surprise announcement.

However, party leaders, including Rajendra Rathore, who lost the elections, dismissed the notion of a show of strength, asserting that it is a customary practice for MLAs to meet senior leaders to exchange wishes. Rathore emphasized the unity among all BJP leaders in the state.

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