Shivraj Chauhan, BJP sources on Madhya Pradesh elections

In the 2018 elections, BJP formed the government by winning 114 seats out of 109 (File).

New Delhi:

Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party have ruled out that Shivraj Singh Chouhan – its longest-serving chief minister – may not be included in its plans for elections in Madhya Pradesh this year. A top BJP source told NDTV this morning that reports that he had been denied a ticket were false, but the warning – that “any senior leader can become chief minister after the elections” – ended the speculation. Not likely to happen.

The BJP has released two lists so far and, in an unusual move, they include three Union ministers — Narendra Tomar, Prahlad Patel, and Fagan Singh Kalaste — and its national general secretary, Kailash Vijayvargiya, among others. who are among the parliamentarians. . The power of these lists has been invoked by the opposition Congress, which has derided the ruling party as “accepting defeat”.

BJP sources have responded to the jibe by pointing out that no Madhya Pradesh minister has yet been named – seen by some as another sign of Mr Chouhan’s removal. The same sources have also insisted on fielding MPs and Union ministers to send a message of “collective leadership”.

Read on BJP won’t project chief minister’s faces in Hindi-speaking states: sources

The party’s focus is on “stopping nepotism” and winning seats, and regional leaders will now have to prove their mettle to the BJP’s national command to win state elections.

Importantly, the BJP’s apparent move towards a “unity” message comes in a state where it is likely to face an undivided opposition – an Indian bloc that will fight this election together rather than fighting among themselves. can, as they can in states like Bengal. Punjab, and Kerala.

The BJP’s move to field some of its big names in the state polls also indicates that it is working towards consolidating seats where it believes it is weak and the opposition. is under attack.

So far, the BJP has fielded 79 candidates but 151 seats are up for grabs in the polls that will once again see Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the party’s driving force.

Read on BJP comes out big guns in Madhya Pradesh, trouble for Shivraj Chauhan?

Meanwhile, Mr Chauhan continues to play the team game.

“It is wonderful and unprecedented…” he said in his first reaction to the lists, “All our top leaders will compete. It will ensure a great victory for us.”

And on Monday he addressed a meeting of party workers in Bhopal and attacked the Congress for making Madhya Pradesh a ‘Bimaru’ state and praised his government for removing the tag.

“Remember the dark ages when Congress gave Madhya Pradesh ‘Sick Rajya’ (a ‘sick’ state, referring to states that perform poorly on key economic indicators). We have removed that stigma…”

Read on By removing, Congress made Madhya Pradesh the stigma of ‘Sick Rajya’: Shivraj Chauhan

Congress reaction to Shivraj Chauhan buzz

With Jyotiraditya Scindia and about two dozen legislators joining the BJP to topple her government, the Congress sees a chance to flip the state it lost in 2020 (two years into its five-year term). .

Kamal Nath, who was forced to resign as chief minister, said Mr Chauhan’s non-naming was “a sure sign of the internal defeat of the BJP, which claims to be the party of crores of workers”.

The BJP is facing a crisis of confidence. This time it will see its biggest defeat in its biggest bastion…Congress is going to win double seats. BJP’s ‘double engine’ government heading for double defeat,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Another Congress leader, Randeep Surjewala, claimed that the BJP is now afraid of the opposition.

Congress formed the government after the 2018 elections which resulted in a hung assembly. It won 114 seats against the BJP’s 109, but the latter party won the popular vote. However, after the Congress government fell after Mr. Scindia and rebel legislators joined the BJP, Kamal Nath had no choice but to resign.

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