Following two unexpected victories in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP is expected to declare the chief minister of Rajasthan today.
The newly elected MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are slated to convene in Jaipur at 4 pm to select the legislative party leader. The focus will be on the party’s choice between selecting its most well-known candidate in the state, two-time chief minister Vasundhara Raje, or implementing a generational shift, as has been done in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The meeting will be held at the party headquarters with the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the BJP’s central observer, and two co-observers, National General Secretary Vinod Tawde and National Vice President Saroj Pandey, according to BJP State General Secretary and MLA Bhajanlal Sharma. Mr. Sharma told news agency PTI that all party MLAs have been invited to the meeting, where the new chief minister’s name will be revealed.
The results of the elections, which were announced on December 3, showed that the party had gained 115 seats in the 200-member Assembly. Following the passing of Congress candidate Gurmeet Singh Kooner, elections were held in the Sriganganagar district’s Karanpur seat without a poll.
The BJP refrained from designating Ms. Raje as the chief ministerial face in the run-up to the elections, preferring to rely on the combined strength of the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity to topple the Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot, which was thought to have a good chance of defying the state’s policy of revolving doors due to its well-liked welfare programs.
Along with Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Arjun Ram Meghwal, Ms. Raje is still considered a strong contender for the position. The other candidates are senior leader Kirodi Lal Meena, state unit chief CP Joshi, and Diya Kumari of the former Jaipur royal family.
There are rumors that the party, which selected a tribal leader in Chhattisgarh and an OBC leader in Madhya Pradesh, may select a woman to be the chief minister of Rajasthan.
Ahead of the legislative party meeting, a number of recently elected MLAs have been meeting with Ms. Raje in what is perceived as an act of support. She was visited by almost ten MLAs on Sunday as well.
The BJP chose Mohan Yadav, a former cabinet minister, over Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the party’s longest-serving chief minister, for the top position in Madhya Pradesh. It was believed that Mr. Chouhan’s popularity and welfare programs, particularly Ladli Behna, were major factors in the party’s resounding victory in the state.
The party chose tribal leader Vishnu Deo Sai over three-term chief minister Raman Singh for Chhattisgarh. PM Modi had desired the state’s chief minister to be a tribal leader, and Mr. Sai is also reportedly well-liked by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the party’s ideological guru. Tomorrow, Mr. Sai and Mr. Yadav will take the oath of office.