Speculation is rife that the BJP top brass could name an OBC or a tribal leader as the next chief minister in Chhattisgarh
New Delhi: Setting in motion the formation of the next governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the BJP on Friday appointed central observers to elect the legislature party leaders, who will be the next chief ministers of the three states the saffron party wrested from the Congress in the recently held Assembly elections. Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda have been named as the central observers for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, respectively.
Mr Singh will be joined by party's vice-president Saroj Pandey and general secretary Vinod Tawde as central observers for Rajasthan amid an 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.
Mr Khattar will be assisted by the party's OBC wing 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 Mr Munda.
In Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP scored its biggest victory among the three states with a two-thirds majority, incumbent 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 his 18 years of uninterrupted stint in power, except for 15 months after the 2018 Assembly polls.
Speculation is rife that the BJP top brass could name an OBC or a tribal leader as the next chief minister in Chhattisgarh. Names of ST leaders like Lata Usendi, Gomati Sai and Renuka Singh are doing the rounds for the post, besides state party president Arun Sao and bureaucrat-turned-politician O.P. Choudhary, both from backward castes.
The BJP, according to sources, is in favour of appointing a “new face” at the top post in the three states to usher in new leadership.
There is also a buzz that at least one of the three chief ministers of the party could be a woman as the party, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been highlighting women voters' support for the BJP and has often spoken of the need for women-led development.