Despite veterans in fray, Modi’s BJP may opt for new faces to lead Hindi heartland states it won
Sources in the Hindu nationalist party said new generation leaders might be chosen keeping in mind the general elections of 2024.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (ANI Photo)
THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of prime minister Narendra Modi might have veteran faces to choose from when it comes to picking the chief minister of the three Hindi heartland states it won in the recent elections — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — but it could go for new faces keeping in mind next year’s general elections, India’s NDTV reported citing sources.
The saffron party has three experienced leaders in each of the three states to take up the job — incumbent chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan and former chief ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh, respectively, but it may still go for new-generation faces to lead the states.
The BJP wrested Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh from the Indian National Congress and beat the anti-incumbency factor to retain Madhya Pradesh in the elections held in November.
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The party has been holding talks on the chief ministerial face in all the three states.
A meeting lasting four-and-half hours took place at the residence of Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday (5), during which the frontrunners in the three states were discussed. Home minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda were also present.
The meeting happened after a series of talks held between Shah and Nadda with the BJP’s in-charges of the three states over the ground situation.
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According to the NDTV report, the BJP’s top leadership is likely to appoint observers for the three states who will oversee meetings of the newly elected lawmakers to elect their leaders in the respective assemblies.
While Chouhan, Raje and Singh are among the contenders to bag the plum post, other names such as Jyotiraditya Scindia and Narendra Singh Tomar (Madhya Pradesh); Om Birla, Arjun Ram Meghwal, CP Joshi, Mahant Balaknath and Gajendra Singh Sekhawat (Rajasthan) and Arun Kumar Sao, Dharamlal Kaushik and O P Choudhary (Chhattisgarh) are also doing the rounds.
Some of these leaders are federal ministers, while some are state position holders. Birla is the speaker of the Lok Sabha or Lower House of the Indian parliament.