The BJP has not projected a CM face, with the poll campaign relying heavily on the mass appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo/PTI)
The meeting of the newly-elected legislators is expected to be held in Bhopal on Monday evening and the chief minister’s name may be announced, an MLA said
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s newly-elected MLAs in Madhya Pradesh will meet on Monday to elect the leader of the legislative party. After the November 17 polls, the BJP retained power in MP by winning 163 seats in the 230-member assembly, leaving the Congress a distant second with 66 seats.
The BJP has not projected a CM face, with the poll campaign relying heavily on the mass appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting of the newly-elected legislators is expected to be held in Bhopal on Monday evening and the chief minister’s name may be announced, an MLA said.
The party’s central observers, comprising Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, OBC Morcha head K Laxman and secretary Asha Lakra, are expected to arrive here in the morning. This time, the BJP contested the assembly polls without projecting Shivraj Singh Chouhan as its chief ministerial face. Chouhan is a four-time CM, having taken oath in 2005, 2008, 2013 and 2020.
Prahlad Patel, an OBC leader like Chouhan, former Union minister and newly-elected Dimani MLA Narendra Tomar, Indore heavyweight Kailash Vijayvargiya, state unit chief VD Sharma and Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia are being seen as front-runners for the post. Since 2003, all three CMs of the BJP in MP – Uma Bharti, Babulal Gaur and Chouhan – have been from the Other Backward Classes. The population of OBCs in MP is around 48 per cent.
Patel, Tomar, Vijayvargiya, Sharma and Scindia have already met Union Home Minister and BJP’s key strategist Amit Shah in New Delhi. They have also called on party president J P Nadda. This is for the third time since 2004 that the BJP has sent central observers to Madhya Pradesh.
In August 2004, when Uma Bharti resigned as chief minister, the party’s senior leaders Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley were sent as central observers to the state. In November 2005, when Babulal Gaur resigned from the top post in the state, Rajnath Singh was sent as a central observer to help legislators pick the new chief minister. At that time, Chouhan was elected as the leader of the legislative party.