New Delhi: The BJP has decided to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Telangana under collective leadership, without announcing Chief Ministerial candidates.
The BJP is in power in Madhya Pradesh with Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the Chief Minister while the Congress is ruling in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. In Telegana, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao-led BRS is in the power.
Both Congress Chief Ministers, Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan and Bhupesh Baghel in Chhattisgarh, are considered close to the Congress high command and hence the BJP is trying hard to defeat the Congress in both the states so that the Gandhi family can be shocked.
The saffron party also want throw the BRS, which is trying to form a third front against the Narendra Modi government in the Centre, out of power in Telegana.
However as the BJP has failed to understand the ground political situation of these four states, it has been decided in principle that the party will not announce its Chief Ministerial candidates in the Assembly elections despite being in Opposition in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. Even in Madhya Pradesh, where the party is currently in power.
The party will contest the elections in these four states under collective leadership of prominent state leaders with Prime Minister Narendra Modi be the central figure. If gets the majority in the elections, the BJP Parliamentary Board will name Chief Ministers after consulting with the MLAs of the respective states.
For Madhya Pradesh, the BJP on Monday made its intentions clear by declaring three Union Ministers, seven MPs and even the party’s National General Secretary as candidates for the Legislative Assembly elections in its second list of 39 candidates.
Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste, and party’s National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, are among strong contenders for the post of Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh.
Along with this, the Lok Sabha MPs whom the party has fielded – Reeti Pathak, Rakesh Singh, Ganesh Singh and Uday Pratap Singh – are considered very close to the BJP high command. By fielding these veterans, the party has given a message to Chief Minister Chouhan as well as the common voters that it has many options for the post of Chief Minister.
In Rajasthan, despite the continuous efforts and demands of former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the BJP has not yet decided her role in the elections. Many stalwarts have publicly said that the party has many people eligible for the post of Chief Minister and the decision on the post will be taken by the BJP Parliamentary Board after the elections.
The BJP high command is also going for a change in leadership in Chhattisgarh with its decision to put forward other leaders instead of Raman Singh.
In Telangana, the party removed Sanjay Kumar, and Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy was made the state president. Later, National President J.P. Nadda appointed Kumar as the National General Secretary, giving a clear indication that the party wants elevate the status of other leaders in the state so that their influence, popularity and organisational ability can be properly utilised during the Assembly elections.
Besides these four states, Assembly elections will also be held in Mizoram by the end of the year.
The northeastern state is currently ruled by the Mizo National Front and Zoramthanga is the Chief Minister of the state.
Though Mizo National Front has been included in the NDA, in recent times its relations with BJP are becoming sour. It is believed that despite all the efforts for expansion, BJP is not going to get any big or miraculous result in Mizoram in this year’s Assembly elections.