Suspense over CM in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan to end today? BJP meeting scheduled in Bhopal. Here's all you need to know
The newly-elected MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh will elect the party's leader on Monday. With 163 seats in the 230-member assembly, the BJP retained power in MP, leaving the Congress with 66 seats
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) discussion to pick chief ministers for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan seemed to enter the last leg as its central observers looked set to arrive in the two states on Monday, December 11, to witness the selection of leaders of legislative parties, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday, as reported by Hindustan Times.
The newly-elected MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh will elect the party's leader on Monday. With 163 seats in the 230-member assembly, the BJP retained power in MP, leaving the Congress with 66 seats. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mass appeal playing a major role in the BJP's poll campaign, no CM face has been projected. On Monday evening, newly elected legislators will meet in Bhopal and the name of the chief minister may be announced, an MLA said. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with party general secretaries Saroj Pandey and Vinod Tawde will go to Rajasthan, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, OBC Morcha chief K Laxman and BJP national secretary Asha Lakra will oversee the selection in Madhya Pradesh.
Even though the BJP has been busy behind-the-scenes parleying all week long, there is not much clarity on the names of the two new chief ministers. Madhya Pradesh observers, including Khattar, Lakra, and Laxman, were appointed by the BJP on Friday.
This time, the BJP contested the assembly polls without projecting Shivraj Singh Chouhan as its chief ministerial face.
The legislative party meeting will begin at 3.50 pm on Monday at the party office in Bhopal, according to an official letter from state general secretary Bhagwandas Sabnani. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a party leader said that the observers will hold one-on-one meetings with senior state leaders and legislators. "We are excited about the meeting and will agree with all the decisions of the organisation. I know that BJP always works for the tribal community, and this time too, they will be one of the priorities of the state government," party MLA and tribal leader Sampatiya Uike said, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Saying that the new state cabinet will carry a sizeable tribal representation, senior leader and outgoing minister Om Prakash Dhurve told HT, "In the new cabinet, tribal leaders will get a good opportunity to work for the welfare of tribal and others."
The BJP did not name a CM face in the run-up to the elections. Its gambit of using collective leadership led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to steer its campaign reaped dividends as the party won the polls by a record margin.
Apart from incumbent Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the aspirants' list for the CM post includes former agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar and former culture minister Prahlad Patel, the two MPs who contested the assembly elections and won. Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, too, is a popular leader from the state who delivered the key Gwalior-Chambal region to the party, though he did not contest the assembly polls.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior party leader said: "There are at least 5-6 senior leaders who are in the CM race. There is also talk of whether the party will appoint two deputy chief ministers similar to Uttar Pradesh."
In Rajasthan, where the BJP defeated the Congress by winning 115 of the 199 seats, the legislative party meeting is likely to be held on Tuesday. Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje's three resigned MPs, Baba Balaknath, Diya Kumari, and Kirodi Lal Meena, are among the names being floated for the chief minister's post. Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Ashwini Vaishnaw, both from Rajasthan, have been mentioned. Around 10 MLAs met with Raje on Sunday. "Given the dismal economic and law and order situation in Rajasthan, the state needs a strong and experienced face. Raje is the only experienced face in Rajasthan at this time. The people also feel Raje should be CM," party leader Prahlad Gunjal said, as quoted by HT.
State unit chief CP Joshi brushed aside speculation that multiple claimants for the top post were delaying the process of naming the CM. "Once the legislature party meeting is held, the speculation around our CM will end. There is nothing wrong with having multiple candidates. All the contenders are deserving candidates," news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
(With Inputs from agencies)
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