MINISTER FOR Panchayat and Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday resigned before filing his nomination papers for the State BJP president post, party sources said.
The BJP will declare Tomar as its State president on Tuesday. Formalities on his election were completed on Sunday. The formal announcement of his election will be made after convening a meeting of 192 State delegates at the State BJP office at 11 am.
Faggan Singh Kulaste, who had earlier given hints of contesting the election, proposed Tomar’s nomination. The tribal MP from Mandla was persuaded to do so by PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargia and School Education Minister Narottam Mishra. They accompanied Kulaste to the State BJP office.
Tomar filed three sets of nomination forms about 12.15 pm before the State BJP returning officer Sartaj Singh. Dalit leaders, tribal leaders and other leaders respectively seconded the nomination forms.
They included Satyanarayan Jatia, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Sunderlal Patwa, Kailash Joshi, Dilip Bhatere, Ajay Vishnoi, Antar Singh Arya and Shivraj Shah.
A number of ministers and senior BJP leaders were present on the occasion, including Vikram Verma, Sumitra Mahajan, Vijay Khandelwal, Gaurishankar Bisen, Thawarchand Gehlot, Kaptan Singh Solanki, Anil Dave, Chandramani Tripathi, Anoop Mishra, Yashodhara Raje Scindia, Rampal Singh, Laxmikant Sharma, Kamal Patel, Himmat Kothari and Jayant Malaiya.
Later, talking to journalists, the central BJP observer Omprakash Mathur denied that Tomar was being imposed on the State BJP at the behest of the central leadership.
Tomar’s name was unanimous choice in the State BJP, he claimed. Asked if the party had tried to send out any specific message to people in the State by replacing the Dalit leader Jatia by an upper caste leader Tomar, Mathur said when it came to electing party president caste and community factors were never taken into consideration.
Mathur said that unlike past, when ballot decided the president’s election on a couple of occasions, there was unanimity among the party leaders about election of Tomar on the post.
In reply to a question he said Tomar would hold only one post, that is of the State BJP president. Earlier, Jatia and Tomar went to see Mathur at VIP Guest House in the morning from where they went to the State BJP office.
Tomar handed over the resignation letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan In his letter Tomar has thanked the CM for his cooperation in the Cabinet and said since the party has bestowed a new responsibility on him he decided to resign.