The lone Madhya Pradesh Rajya Sabha seat for which the by-poll is being held on September 22 is most likely to be bagged by an outsider, the one who is close to the new central leadership of the party, it has been learnt.
A senior party leader, who did not want to be identified, said there are not many suitable candidates within the state because most leaders either won assembly or Lok Sabha elections. This might also pave the way for an outsider’s candidature.
However, the issue has not yet been settled and a state leader may get the nomination if the CM has his way, the leader said.
"A decision on the party nomination is likely to be taken within the next week. I cannot comment on any other aspect of the decision," said BJP spokesperson Vishwas Sarang.
The seat fell vacant after the resignation of Kaptan Singh Solanki, who has been appointment as Haryana governor. The candidate who gets the ticket will continue for the remainder of Singh’s term till April 2, 2018.
The BJP has eight of the 11 Rajya Sabha seats from MP. In case the party goes by caste arithmetic, it may consider appointing a Thakur to replace Singh.
Also, since none of the eight MPs is a tribal, possibility of a Thakur or a tribal candidate becomes high. Currently, however, most of the prominent tribal leaders are either MPs or MLAs.
The grapevine has it that in case the party wants to accommodate someone from the RSS, Ram Madhav, whose association with the Sangh dates back to his childhood, would be a probable candidate.
In case chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has a free hand, he may consider giving the ticket to former CM Kailash Joshi, who is currently being considered for a gubernatorial assignment.
Chouhan was in Delhi on Thursday and was expected to discuss the Rajya Sabha nomination with the central leadership including the Prime Minister. A decision on the same will be taken soon since the last date for filing nomination is September 11.
Others in consideration include Raghunandan Sharma, Ravinandan Singh and Jaibhan Singh Pawaiyya among others.