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Monday, February 26, 2024

BJP Appoints Observers Amid Suspense Over New CMs in Three States

The Bharat Janata Party (BJP) nominated observers on Friday to begin the process of picking the leaders of the parliamentary party in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, kicking off the process of selecting the chief ministers for these states.

As observers for Rajasthan, the party has named Union Minister Rajnath Singh, party general secretary Vinod Tawde, and senior Rajya Sabha MP Saroj Pande.

Manoharlal Khattar, Asha Lakra, and Rajya Sabha MP K Laxman will oversee the procedure in MP.

Union ministers Arjun Munda and Sarbanand Sonowal, as well as general secretary Dushyant Gautam, are among the observers in Chhattisgarh.

Although there were frantic behind-the-scenes wranglings within the BJP and displays of strength by candidates to the seats, there is no clarity on the identities of the new chief ministers of the three states.

According to sources close to the BJP, the party would pursue a generational change in at least one of the three states, if not all three. On the condition of anonymity, one of them suggested that the party may choose a woman or a tribal from Chhattisgarh. Renuka Singh, a tribal woman, resigned as an MP and minister on Thursday.

However, a second source stated that this did not guarantee she would be chosen chief minister, only that she was one of the possibilities.

Indeed, Thursday only saw more names making the rounds. In the case of Chhattisgarh, this includes, in addition to Singh, Arun Sao, the state BJP chairman, who resigned on Wednesday, as well as OP Chaudhary and Ram Vichar Netam. While the first individual stated that former state Chief Minister Raman Singh was not a contender, the second stated that he could not be ruled out.

In Rajasthan, the names doing the rounds include those of former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who met party president J P Nadda on Thursday; three MPs who have resigned, Baba Balaknath (who met party president JP Nadda on Thursday), Diya Kumari, and Kirodi Lal Meena. Even the names of Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal and Ashwini Vaishnaw, both from Rajasthan, have come up.

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