The BJP leadership is holding marathon meetings to choose the Chief Ministers
The BJP may choose new faces for Chief Minister posts in the heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it posted thumping poll victories, according to sources in the party. The selection would be done keeping the 2024 general election in mind, the sources added.
While the party has former Chief Ministers who have been re-elected in all the three states -- Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh --, BJP sources said a generational change cannot be ruled out when the party leadership picks its Chief Ministers.
The BJP won the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, results of which were declared on Sunday. The party's central leadership has been holding discussions on the Chief Minister probables in the three states.
A four-and-a-half hour meeting was held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's residence yesterday, during which the frontrunners in the three states were considered. The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda.
This marathon meeting followed a series of meetings held by Mr Shah and Mr Nadda with the BJP's in-charges of these states to gather feedback about state leaders.
The BJP's central leadership is likely to appoint observers for the three states soon. These observers will oversee meetings of newly elected MLAs in the three states to elect their leaders in the Assembly.
In Madhya Pradesh, incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a contender for the top post, along with Union ministers Prahlad Patel, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Narendra Singh Tomar, and senior state leader Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Several names are doing the rounds for the Rajasthan top post too. While former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been elected as an MLA, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Ram Meghwal, state party president C P Joshi, and prominent leaders Diya Kumari and Mahant Balaknath are being seen as probables.
Former Chief Minister Raman Singh is among the contenders in Chhattisgarh. State BJP president Arun Kumar Sao, leader of opposition Dharamlal Kaushik and former IAS officer O P Chaudhary are also being seen as contenders for the Chief Minister post.
It must, however, be kept in mind that the BJP leadership is known to spring a surprise with its choices.