Turns Out, BJP Cannot Exchange This Chief Minister

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Turns Out, BJP Cannot Exchange This Chief Minister
Turns Out, BJP Cannot Exchange This Chief Minister



The BJP has, in keeping with reviews, determined to combat the election in Madhya Pradesh, due later this 12 months, beneath the captainship of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. This ends months of hypothesis a couple of “Chief Minister shuffle” within the state.

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Shivraj Chouhan, aka “Mama (uncle)”, is the longest-serving Chief Minister (16 years plus) of Madhya Pradesh. He’s additionally the BJP’s longest-serving Chief Minister throughout states.

There has lengthy been a buzz about Shivraj Chouhan’s alternative by somebody youthful, a recent face, like in Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Tripura, to offset native disenchantment.

The “drop Shivraj” brigade has been citing the instance of Himachal, the lone state the place the social gathering did not change its Chief Minister and misplaced to the Congress.

There was a time when Mama was thought-about Prime Minister materials. That was earlier than Narendra Modi.

Through the years, Shivraj Chouhan has mellowed, however regardless of his lengthy tenure, his recognition hasn’t light.

He’s identified to be all the way down to earth, and affable. These attributes, together with pro-poor schemes like Laadli Laxmi, Teerth Darshan and Kisan Kalyan Yojana, have stored him forward of rivals.

There could also be dissatisfaction on the bottom as a result of inaccessibility or non-performance of BJP MLAs, however that anger just isn’t singed Mama, who has constructed a robust ladies’s vote block.

Moreover, Shivraj Chouhan is 64, “match” and does not but fall within the 75-plus class through which redundancy is an actual risk. No less than within the BJP. He is without doubt one of the few Vajpayee-Advani period politicians who has stood the check of time and has even survived within the Modi-Shah period. He has managed to construct an aura of indispensability.

The most important consider Shivraj’s favour is that he belongs to the OBC (Different Backward Class) group. OBCs account for greater than half the inhabitants of Madhya Pradesh and Shivraj is the tallest OBC chief, throughout events.

Over the previous 9 years, the BJP has projected itself because the champion of the backwards, buoyed by the truth that Prime Minister Modi belongs to the group. The social gathering claims OBCs have the very best illustration within the Modi cupboard. In state and nationwide elections, the BJP makes it some extent to say the way it has picked numerous OBC candidates.

OBC assist for the BJP has doubled on the nationwide stage, from 23 per cent in 2009 to 44 per cent within the 2019 basic election, per the Centre for Examine of Growing Societies (CSDS). Within the Hindi heartland states, this backing has created a brand new “non-Yadav OBC vote block”, which has facilitated the BJP’s win two consecutive elections in Uttar Pradesh.

Shivraj Chouhan is probably the BJP’s solely OBC chief minister throughout India. The social gathering is in energy in 11 states by itself and in 5 states in alliance with regional events. Changing him would present the social gathering in poor mild.

A majority of its Chief Ministers at the moment belong to the higher caste (Brahmin, Thakur) or center caste (Maratha, Patidar, Khatri, Vaishya) communities. Changing Shivraj Chouhan can be unhealthy optics certainly – the social gathering can be perceived to reap the benefits of OBC votes and nonetheless favour the higher castes for prime posts”.

The highest contenders for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister are Narottam Mishra (state Dwelling Minister) and state BJP chief VD Sharma, each Brahmins. Jyotiraditya Scindia belongs to a royal household and Kailash Vijayvargiya is from the buying and selling group.

If the social gathering replaces Shivraj, it wants a robust OBC face. He might not be a favorite of the Modi-Shah duo, however electoral compulsions appear to have saved Shivraj. One other probably OBC candidate is Prahlad Patel, a Minister of State in Modi’s cupboard, who could not make the reduce as he lacks state-wide attraction.

That mentioned, it does not imply Mama may have a free run in selecting candidates or managing the Madhya Pradesh marketing campaign. It’s normal data that Shivraj has been beneath a variety of stress in his newest time period, from rivals; from Congress hoppers who facilitated his return simply earlier than the lockdown in 2020; and from the BJP excessive command.

The TINA (There Is No Different) Issue has labored for Mama. His inventory will rise exponentially if he is ready to win the state for the BJP once more, propelling him to a major nationwide position in Modi 3.O if the BJP retains energy on the Centre.

(Amitabh Tiwari is a political strategist and commentator. In his earlier avatar he was a company and funding banker.)

Disclaimer: These are the private opinions of the creator.

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