BJP stares at generational shift

Incumbents Shivraj Singh Chouhan (MP), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) and Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) could be brought to the central leadership while giving charge of the states to younger leaders. (PTI photos)

The BJP’s performance in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are likely to trigger a generational change in leadership in these states.

Incumbents Shivraj Singh Chouhan (MP), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan) and Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) could be brought to the central leadership while giving charge of the states to younger leaders.

Bringing these leaders to the Centre has been speculated for long and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier indicated the need for preparing the next set of leaders in these states.

Chouhan and Raje do not enjoy excellent rapport with Modi or BJP chief Amit Shah while Singh is said to have a working relationship with them.

These leaders were having the last say in party matters in the state and off late the central leadership had infused fresh blood in these states.

However, in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the decision on new party chiefs were taken after much delay and lot of consultations.

In Rajasthan, Shah could manage to instal Gajendra Shekhawat, his choice as party chief, after Raje threw tantrums and a threat not to campaign in elections.

Shekhawat may now be installed in Rajasthan while Raje could be drafted for a central role.

It is to be seen whether she would be drafted into the Cabinet or given party responsibilities as she has a strained relationship with Shah.

In Madhya Pradesh, Union Rural Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar may get a better say in party affairs while it already has a young president in Rakesh Singh. There was a buzz about Chouhan being inducted into the Union Cabinet as Agriculture Minister for some time.

Like Chouhan and Raje, Singh was also earlier tipped to be a Union Minister but the central leadership did not disturb the status quo before Assembly elections.

One of the reasons cited by a senior BJP leader for drafting them for a possible central role was that they may not be enjoying the same clout among voters in the next Lok Sabha elections.

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