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इंडियन आवाज़     18 May 2024 03:12:52      انڈین آواز

BJP’s Madhya Pradesh list throw up speculation on political fortunes of Kailash Vijayvargiya, Shivraj

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NEWS ANALYSIS

By Nirendra Dev

Incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been in office for quite long and maybe the BJP is exploring the possibilities of replacing him.

Top guns have made it to BJP’s second list of candidates for the forthcoming assembly elections.

The saffron party’s nominees include local stalwart and BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. The former in-charge for politically sensitive West Bengal and considered close to Home Minister Amit Shah, Vijayvargia has been named as party candidate from Indore-1.

Will he be the next Chief Minister ?

The BJP’s second list features three central ministers — Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste. Patel courted controversy recently when he tweeted about Union cabinet clearing Women’s Bill and later was asked to delete the posting.

After BJP failed to topple Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata in 2021 fiercely contested polls, senior Bengal leaders such as Tathagata Roy, a former Governor of Meghalaya, had sharpened attacks against Vijayvargiya. However, the Lotus party’s key stalwarts Home Minister Shah and even party president J P Nadda have reportedly defended him more than once in internal meetings.

Is BJP then looking for a suitable replacement for Shivraj Singh Chouhan in case the party can brave through the anti-incumbency factor this year?

The Lotus party has been in power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003 except for a brief period between December 2018 and March 23rd, 2020. For his part Chouhan is in office since November 30, 2005 when two (now deceased) BJP leaders Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley favoured his candidature as CM instead of Uma Bharti.

Chouhan has to his credit leading the party to win in consecutive polls in 2008 and 2013 but in 2018,
he failed to get the magic numbers and the power had shifted to Congress veteran Kamal Nath.

If speculation about Vijayvargiya is too far-fetched, the inclusion of central minister Narendra Singh Tomar is also quite surprising.

While two other central ministers Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste will contest from Narsingpur and Niwas respectively; onetime chosen man of PM Narendra Modi, Narendra Singh Tomar will contest from the Dimni seat.

Tomar was a member of Fifteenth Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014 from Morena. In 2019, he came back to Morena. Between 2014 and 2019, he represented Gwalior. While Tomar is 66, incumbent Chief Minister Chouhan is 64 and Kailash Vijayvargiya, 67, is the eldest among the three.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who had defected from Congress in March 200,
too would not mind the top post in the state. But answers to these questions remain in the
womb of time.

Earlier in the day on Monday, Sept 25, PM Narendra Modi visited the poll-bound state and addressed
key election meeting.

Addressing a massive gathering of BJP workers, ‘Karyakarta Mahakumb’ in Bhopal, the Prime Minister
cautioned the people that the Congress would push Madhya Pradesh back into the ‘BIMARU’ category of
states if given an opportunity to rule again. Other notable BJP candidates on the list are MPs Ganesh Mantri, Rakesh Singh and Reeti Pathak.

The BJP earlier released the names of 37 candidates in its first list. The saffron outfit
has now declared candidates for 76 out of the 230 seats in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

Please email us if you have any comment.

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