Chhattisgarh done, race for CM in MP, Rajasthan continues; Bhopal meet today | Latest News India


With the announcement of the first-ever tribal chief minister for Chhattisgarh, the Bharatiya Janata Party began to scotch the suspense over selecting candidates for the top position more than a week after the party won in the heartland states in the assembly elections. The party will now take the much-anticipated decision to pick chief ministers for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Vasundhara Raje (L). Shivraj Singh Chouhan (R)
Vasundhara Raje (L). Shivraj Singh Chouhan (R)

Following the trend in Chhattisgarh and amid recent buzz, the BJP is likely to opt for a new line of leadership in the remaining states. However, former Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje and incumbent Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan remain to be tough contenders for the race.

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Party huddle in Bhopal today

The BJP’s newly elected Madhya Pradesh MLAs will meet in Bhopal on Monday to elect the leader of the legislative party, people aware of the matter said. The meeting will be supervised by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, national secretary Asha Lakra and Rajya Sabha MP K Laxman who were announced as party observers for Madhya Pradesh. The observers will hold one-on-one meetings with senior state leaders and legislators.

The BJP retained Madhya Pradesh at a canter winning 163 seats in the 230-member assembly, leaving the Congress a distant second with 66 seats.

Saying that the new state cabinet will carry a sizeable tribal representation, senior leader and outgoing minister Om Prakash Dhurve said: “In the new cabinet, tribal leaders will get a good opportunity to work for the welfare of tribal and others.”

Rajasthan’s Raje or others?

It is reported that observers Union minister Rajnath Singh, party general secretary Vinod Tawde and Rajya Sabha MP Saroj Pande are likely to convene the legislative meeting of newly-elected MLAs on Tuesday.

Former CM Vasundhara Raje is seen as a strong challenger in the race, however, the names of three MPs who have resigned, Baba Balaknath, Diya Kumari, and Kirodi Lal Meena, have come up. Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Ashwini Vaishnaw, both from Rajasthan, are also in the fray.

“Once the legislature party meeting is held, the speculation around our CM will end. There is nothing wrong with having multiple candidates. All the contenders are deserving candidates,” state BJP chief CP Joshi said earlier brushing aside speculation that multiple claimants for the top post were delaying the process to name the CM.

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