Bhajanlal Sharma is Chief Minister of Rajasthan

Diya Kumari, Prem C. Bairwa get Dy CM posts

New Delhi: Putting all speculation to rest, the BJP on Tuesday named its first-time MLA Bhajan Lal Sharma, a Brahmin, as the new chief minister of Rajasthan and gave him two deputies -- Diya Kumari, a Rajput, and Prem Chand Bairwa from the Scheduled Caste community. The party also named Vasudev Devnani, a prominent Sindhi face in the state, as the Speaker of the Assembly.

The new government is likely to take the oath on December 15, where the BJP top brass, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president J.P. Nadda, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, among others, and chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states, are also expected to attend.

Ushering in new leaderships in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which it won in the recently concluded Assembly polls, the BJP central leadership named “new faces” as the CMs in the three states and also appointed deputy chief ministers in a bid to achieve "right" caste balance.

Earlier this year, the desert state had organised a massive "Brahmin Mahapanchayat" that was attended by more than six lakh community members from across the nation. The CM-designate was one of the organising members of the event in Jaipur.

In tribal-dominated Chhattisgarh, the BJP has named a tribal, Vishnu Deo Sai, as the chief minister and in Madhya Pradesh, Mohan Yadav, an OBC, and two deputies in both states. With this, the BJP top brass, sources said, is also aiming to contain factionalism, which is a major cause of worry for the central leadership in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The name of the 56-year-old MLA from Sanganer as the leader of the BJP legislature party was decided in Jaipur. The party's central observers -- Union minister Rajnath Singh, national general secretary Vinod Tawde, Rajya Sabha member Saroj Pandey, along with state incharge Arun Singh and election in-charge Pralhad Joshi -- were present.

At the legislature party meeting, former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who was herself considered to be in the running for the top post, proposed the name of the chief minister designate.

The BJP's chief minister-designate later met Rajasthan governor Kalraj Mishra and staked claim to forming the next government in the state.

BJP state president C.P. Joshi presented a letter to the governor, informing him that Mr Sharma has been elected as the leader of the BJP legislature party in the state, according to a Raj Bhawan statement.

Mr Sharma was accompanied by senior BJP leaders, including Mr Singh, Mr Joshi and Ms Raje. Ms Kumari and Mr Bairwa were also present.

In Rajasthan, the BJP won 115 seats, while the Congress got 69 seats. Elections were held for 199 of the 200 seats in the state. Polling in Karanpur was deferred due to the death of Congress candidate and sitting MLA Gurmeet Singh Koonar. It will now be held on January 5.

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