Five days after the declaration of assembly poll results, the BJP set in motion the plan to pick chief ministers for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The party appointed nine observers, who will oversee the process of electing the leader of the legislative party unanimously.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the team, including Rajya Sabha MP and general secretary Vinod Tawade, to Rajasthan for picking the chief minister.
The announcement of observers name came after former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje met party chief J.P. Nadda. Raje has the support of over two dozen party MLAs, but the party’s central leadership, reportedly, wanted to pick a new person for the post, with an eye on generational shift ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year. The party is applying the same logic for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
For Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP has won a decisive mandate despite anti-incumbency, the party has deputed Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to pick the new CM. He will be assisted by parliamentary board member and OBC Morcha chief K. Laxman and party secretary Asha Lakra. There have been three chief ministers from the BJP in the state since the party came to power in 2003. All three have been OBCs. With the opposition parties making caste census a key issue and the state having a sizeable percentage of OBCs, the party will have to keep this factor in mind.
CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s claim for the post has been strengthened, as the party won because of his connection with the women voters through a host of popular schemes like Ladli Laxmi and Ladli Behna.
In Chhattisgarh, the BJP’s victory has created a pool of leaders it can choose from. There were indications that the party can pick up a tribal face to lead the state, as tribals have voted for the party across three states. Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda, Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, both tribal faces of the party, along with dalit leader party general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam have been deputed as observers for the state.