Bhopal: Two days after the BJP's emphatic victory in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections, the party is yet to announce the Chief Minister's name. While the incumbent chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is on top of the contenders' list, he tried to play modest on Tuesday stating that he was neither the contender for the top position in the state earlier nor is he now.
In a video address, Chouhan, popularly known as 'Mama', referred to himself as a mere party worker and said he would follow the leadership's decision on whatever position is offered to him.
Meanwhile, party stalwarts in the state, though tight-lipped, have assured that whoever is chosen will be an active and responsible party worker. Kailash Vijayvargiya, a contender for the post of the CM from Malwa Nimar, said that the decision will be taken at the Legislative Party meeting in Delhi.
The issue of a change in CM's face created a buzz even before the elections but the party kept the topic at bay and focused solely on the polls. Strategically, the party never projected any candidate as the CM's face during electoral promotions. Due to this plan of action, veteran party leaders, who were fielded in the Assembly Elections are now optimistic about being chosen as the upcoming Chief Minister.
Currently, the leaders are busy settling the political equations at their respective levels. However, much needs to be discussed before narrowing down and selecting a name for such a high-profile post.
Who are the contenders: Kailash Vijayvargiya, assembly election winner for six consecutive times, has held important posts such as Mayor and BJP General Secretary and is a clear CM aspirant. Due to his close relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, he hopes to bag the party's support. However, several political analysts believe that the BJP might also consider Minister of Civil Aviation of India, Jyotiraditya Scindia.
After contesting the recent assembly elections while being in the Union Cabinet, Prahlad Patel's name is also doing the rounds for the CM's post as he is the face of the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community in the state. This gives him an edge over the other contenders. Patel, like Scindia, can also benefit from his close affinity with the PM and Home Minister.
However, it cannot be ruled out that Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who won by a massive margin of 1,04,974 votes from Budhni, is the key to the party's dominance in the state and remains the strongest contender for the post. His 'Laadli Behan Yojana' scheme was considered as the BJP's unique selling point during this Assembly Election. As CM for 18 long years, he too has strong ties with the Modi-Shah duo in Delhi.
Narendra Singh Tomar is yet another leader who is among the trusted ministers of PM Modi and Shah. Before the elections, Tomar was being considered an alternative to Chouhan. However, Tomar's chances to be the chosen one have dwindled after videos claiming his son, Devendra Pratap Singh Tomar’s alleged involvement in financial deals went viral.