NEW DELHI, Dec 8:
The BJP today appointed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda as Central Observers for electing the leader of its legislative party in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively.
The new legislative party leaders will become Chief Ministers of the three States, and the meetings may take place over the weekend.
Singh will be joined by party’s vice president Saroj Pandey and its general secretary Vinod Tawde as Central Observers for Rajasthan amid intense buzz within the BJP that the leadership will bring in a new leader, ignoring the claims of two-time former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
Khattar will be joined by the party’s OBC ‘Morcha’ head K Laxman and its secretary Asha Lakra for the Madhya Pradesh meeting while Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BJP’s general secretary Dushwant Kumar Gautam will be Central Observers for Chhattisgarh along with Munda.
In Madhya Pradesh where the BJP scored its biggest victory among the three States with a two-thirds majority, current Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s stake has gone up with the win but there is a view that the party leadership is looking at a leadership change after 18 years uninterrupted stint in power except for 15 months after the 2018 Assembly polls.
The BJP is looking to hand over the reins to an OBC or tribal leader in Chhattisgarh, sources said, adding that ST leaders like Lata Usendi, Gomati Sai and Renuka Singh are natural contenders for the top job besides state party president Arun Sao and bureaucrat-turned-politician O P Choudhary, both from backward castes. (PTI)