BJP appoints observers as suspense over new CMs in 3 states continues
There is little clarity on the identity of the new chief ministers of the three states although there were hectic behind-the-scenes parleys within the BJP
New Delhi: Setting in motion the process of selecting the chief ministers for Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the Bharat Janata Party (BJP) on Friday appointed observers who will now begin the process of selecting the leaders of the legislative party.
For Rajasthan, the party has appointed union minister Rajnath Singh, party general secretary Vinod Tawde and senior Rajya Sabha MP saroj Pande as observers.
Haryana chief minister Manoharlal Khattar, Asha Lakra and Rajya Sabha MP K Laxman will oversee the process in MP.
In Chhattisgarh, the team of observers includes union ministers Arjun Munda, Sarbanand Sonowal and general secretary, Dushyant Gautam.
There is little clarity on the identity of the new chief ministers of the three states although there were hectic behind-the-scenes parleys within the BJP and shows of strength by aspirants to the posts.
People familiar with the matter in the BJP said that the party would go for a generational shift in at least one of the three states, and perhaps all three. One of them added on condition of anonymity that the party could opt for a woman or a tribal in Chhattisgarh. Interestingly, Renuka Singh, a woman and a tribal, resigned as MP and minister on Thursday.
But a second person said that this did not mean she was being named chief minister, only that she was among the candidates.
Indeed, if anything, Thursday only saw more names doing the rounds. In the case of Chhattisgarh, apart from Singh, this includes Arun Sao, the state BJP chief who is among the lawmakers who resigned on Wednesday, and OP Chaudhary and Ram Vichar Netam. While the first person said former chief minister of the state Raman Singh was not a candidate, the second person said he could not be ruled out.
In Rajasthan, the names doing the rounds include those of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who met party president J P Nadda on Thursday; three MPs who have resigned, Baba Balaknath (who met party president JP Nadda on Thursday), Diya Kumari, and Kirodi Lal Meena. Even the names of Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Ashwini Vaishnaw, both from Rajasthan, have come up.
In Madhya Pradesh, apart from incumbent Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is yet to make the trip to Delhi, the list includes former agriculture minister Narender Singh Tomar and former culture minister Prahlad Patel, the two MPs who contested the assembly elections and won. Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, too, is a popular leader from the state who delivered the key Gwalior-Chambal region to the party though he did not contest the assembly polls.
A third BJP leader suggested that a decision would be taken by the weekend. Observers will be appointed shortly, this person, a senior BJP functionary in Delhi, added, and “as is the practice” they will travel to the states to meet the MLAs and take a call on the chief minister.
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