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Mohan Yadav Takes Oath As Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister

Mohan Yadav took oath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, among others, in the first of two BJP swearing-in ceremonies yesterday.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel also swore in Deputy Chief Ministers Rajendra Shukla and Jagdish Devda.

Mr Yadav was a minister in the previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan administration in Madhya Pradesh until being elected as an MLA from the Ujjain South constituency last month. He is associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and belongs to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), which account for more than 48% of the state’s population.

The 58-year-old was first elected to the Assembly from Ujjain South in 2013 and was re-elected in 2018. He was the Chouhan government’s education minister.

Mr Yadav’s name was released as the BJP’s second surprise selection after it was proclaimed the victor in three Hindi heartland states on December 3. Fighting anti-incumbency in a state it had dominated for nearly 20 years, the party won 163 members in the 230-member Assembly, shrinking the Congress to just 66.

Experts claimed that the four-time chief minister’s popularity and welfare projects, particularly Ladli Behna, were major factors in the party’s triumph, even though Mr. Chouhan was not selected as the chief ministerial candidate and the BJP was counting on PM Narendra Modi’s popularity for this year’s elections.

Despite its desire to create generational transition in all three states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh – the BJP leadership surprised everyone by naming Mr Yadav as chief minister.

Mr Chouhan was present at the swearing-in ceremony, along with BJP President JP Nadda, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena (Shinde faction), and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Nitin Gadkari were also present.

Priorities

Mr Yadav went to a shrine in Bhopal before the oath ceremony. “I belong to Raja Vikramaditya’s town (Ujjain) who was known for good governance. The oath ceremony will take place in the presence of the world’s most popular leader – Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I welcome Modi ji, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President JP Nadda and various Union ministers and chief ministers on the soil of Madhya Pradesh,” Mr Yadav had told news agency PTI.

On his priorities, Mr Yadav said, “We will focus on progress in education, health, employment (sectors) and development in all other areas in the state under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi ji.”

Deputies

Rajendra Shukla and Jagdish Devda were sworn in as deputy chief ministers to calm frayed nerves and balance caste dynamics ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha elections next year.

Mr Devda is a scheduled caste leader who was elected from Malhagarh by over 60,000 votes last month. The six-term MLA was initially elected in 1990 and served as a minister in the preceding Chouhan administration. For a few months in 2020, the 66-year-old served as Speaker of the Madhya Assembly.

Mr Shukla, who won the Rewa seat for the sixth time by roughly 21,000 votes, is the party’s strong Brahmin face from the Vindhya Pradesh area, which was formerly considered a Congress bastion. In the Madhya Pradesh administration, the 59-year-old held multiple responsibilities, including industry and energy.

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