The BJP’s defeat in the Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha by-polls might have a ripple effect on the Madhya Pradesh BJP executive elections and also on the likelihood of incumbent state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan getting re-elected.
Political observers feel that although Chauhan played a minimal role in forming the strategy for the by-election, the BJP’s drubbing in Ratlam and the less than convincing win in Dewas could have an impact on his position as the state BJP chief.
The possibility of a change of guard is further heightened by the fact that the process of electing a new state president is slated to commence from December 5.
Chauhan is presently serving the remainder of the term of previous president Narendra Singh Tomar, who had been appointed a union minister.
“The chief minister is most comfortable with Tomar as the state BJP president. Tomar was also the party president during the 2008 and 2013 Lok Sabha elections. The relationship between CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Chauhan is found to be wanting when compared to the rapport Chouhan and Tomar shared. This has also prompted talks of replacement,” a senior party functionary in Bhopal said.
He, however, added that Chauhan may eventually not get replaced as all the important matters in the party are handled by the CM directly. “This may help the party president in continuing on his post,” he said.
The individual who gets elected as the state party president will continue to remain in office till the next assembly elections, which are scheduled to take place in November 2018.