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  Opinion   Edit  12 Dec 2023  AA Edit | BJP picks Next Gen to helm three state govts

AA Edit | BJP picks Next Gen to helm three state govts

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 12, 2023, 11:44 pm IST
Updated : Dec 12, 2023, 11:44 pm IST

And not one media expert, party watcher, political analyst or expert could guess who the three choices of chief ministers would be yet again

 Newly-elected Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma after BJP Legislature Party meeting, in Jaipur, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. (PTI Photo)
  Newly-elected Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma after BJP Legislature Party meeting, in Jaipur, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Only the Bharatiya Janata Party can operate like a disruptive, innovative technology start-up turned super-unicorn. In the era of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the only obsolete commodity is status quo. And not one media expert, party watcher, political analyst or expert could guess who the three choices of chief ministers would be yet again.

Not much has yet been thought through and written about the overall national impact of the recently concluded Assembly elections to five states — but the direction and mood of India is clear — across north, central and western India, there is an absolute and complete domination of political narrative and electoral discussion by the BJP and Mr Modi among the people.

The BJP had three big leaders in the three states they won — Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was serving as an incumbent CM in Madhya Pradesh, and two former CMs — Dr Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and Vasundhara Raje Scindia in Rajasthan. After winning all the three states comfortably, the BJP has, stunningly, done the unthinkable, even unbelievable, by choosing three new younger leaders to take the role of leading the government.

In the predominantly tribal state of Chhattisgarh, the party chose its first tribal chief minister there in Vishnu Deo Sai, who belongs to numerically strong Sahu (Teli) community, who would be sworn in on Thursday, in a ceremony in the capital of Naya Raipur, which would be reportedly attended by all the stalwarts — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda, among others. Besides CM-designate Vishnu Deo Sai, 13 other MLAs will join his new council of ministers.

Mr Sai, who has earlier served as a Union minister, represents the Kunkuri constituency of Surguja district, and defeated Congress candidate U.D. Minj by a margin of over 25,000 votes. While most pundits predicted a comfortable win for the incumbent Congress, the BJP won 54 seats out of 90 in the state, reducing the Bhupesh Baghel-led party to a mere 35 seats.

In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP had its toughest challenge because “Mamaji” Shivraj Singh Chouhan is not only an extraordinarily popular leader but also the incumbent CM. Yet, the saffron party went ahead and named Mohan Yadav as the next chief minister. Mr Yadav, 58 years old and an OBC, is a three-time legislator from Ujjain and had served as a minister in the Chouhan government.

Mr Mohan will be supported by two deputies, Rajendra Shukla and Jagdish Devda, while another CM favourite, former minister Narendra Singh Tomar, was chosen to be next Speaker. In MP, too, the Congress was projected as having a slight edge in a tight contest, but the BJP stunned all projections by sweeping an incredible 163 seats out of 230.

While there was speculation that a tribal and OBC would be preferred CM candidates in Chattisgarh and MP, in even a caste-defying decision, the BJP named Bhajanlal Sharma as the next chief minister of Rajasthan. He will be supported by two deputies — Vidyadhar Nagar MLA Diya Kumari and Dudu MLA Prem Chand Bairwa. The party chose Vasudev Devnani for the post of Speaker, who represents Ajmer North constituency.

With this, not only has the BJP ended the reign of Vasundhara Raje, but also a quarter-century duopoly of chief ministership between Ms Raje and Ashok Gehlot of the Congress. Not only is Mr Sharma a Brahmin, and not a Rajput, as was felt would be a chosen candidate’s caste for the state, but he is also, astonishingly, a first-time MLA. He won from the Sanganer seat in Jaipur, defeating Pushpendra Bhardwauj of the Congress by over 48,000 votes.

The three candidates chosen as CM would represent the next generation of the BJP in these crucial states ahead of the Lok Sabha election, and yet again, the party under Mr Modi has stolen the narrative and the thunder.

Tags: aa edit, madhya pradesh chief minister, rajasthan chief minister