New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged victorious in the assembly elections held in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, ousting the Congress from power in these three states. The BJP had already formed the government in Madhya Pradesh in 2020 after some Congress MLAs defected to the saffron party. The BJP’s stunning performance in these states is seen as a major setback for the Congress, which had won them in 2018. Meanwhile, there are speculations that the BJP may appoint new chief ministers in all three states, as it had not declared any chief ministerial candidates before the polls.
Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan Faces Competition
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has secured a comfortable majority, winning 164 seats out of 230, while the Congress has been reduced to 65 seats. The BJP has also gained a vote share of over 48%, while the Congress has got only 40.32%. The BJP had fought the elections based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and achievements, without projecting any leader as the chief ministerial face. However, after the impressive victory, the incumbent chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is considered to be the frontrunner for the post. Chouhan, who has been the chief minister of the state for four terms, enjoys a mass appeal and a clean image.
However, Chouhan may face some competition from other BJP leaders, who were also fielded in the assembly elections. The BJP had given tickets to seven MPs, including three union ministers, in the state. Among them, the names of Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Singh Patel, Kailash Vijayvargiya, and Narottam Mishra are being discussed as possible contenders for the chief minister’s post. Tomar and Patel are senior ministers in the Modi cabinet, while Vijayvargiya is the party’s general secretary and Mishra is the home minister of the state.
Rajasthan: Vasundhara Raje Leads the Race
In Rajasthan, the BJP has also registered a landslide victory, winning 115 seats out of 200, while the Congress has managed to win only 69 seats. The BJP and the Congress have got 41.84% and 39.49% vote share respectively. The BJP had also not announced any chief ministerial candidate in the state and had relied on Modi’s charisma and the anti-incumbency factor against the Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot. However, after the win, the former chief minister Vasundhara Raje is said to be the leading contender for the top post. Raje, who has been the chief minister of the state twice, is a popular and influential leader of the party.
However, Raje may also face some challenges from other BJP leaders, who were also in the fray in the state. The BJP had fielded many union ministers and MPs in the state, such as Diya Kumari, CP Joshi, Om Birla, Bhupendra Yadav, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Baba Balaknath. Among them, the names of Diya Kumari, who is a member of the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur, and Shekhawat, who is the union minister of Jal Shakti, are being mentioned as possible alternatives to Raje.
Chhattisgarh: Raman Singh May Return to Power
In Chhattisgarh, the BJP has also created a record of sorts, winning 54 seats out of 90, while the Congress has been restricted to 35 seats. The BJP has also got a vote share of 46.35%, while the Congress has got 42.11%. The BJP had learned from its defeat in the state in 2018 when it had lost to the Congress after ruling the state for 15 years. The BJP had not projected any leader as the chief ministerial candidate and had banked on Modi’s appeal and the development agenda of the party. However, after the victory, the former chief minister Raman Singh is being considered as the most likely choice for the post. Singh, who had been the chief minister of the state for three terms, is a veteran and respected leader of the party.
However, Singh may also have to contend with some other BJP leaders, who were also in the race in the state. The BJP had fielded its state president Arun Sao, MP Vijay Baghel, Saroj Pandey, Brijmohan Agarwal, Renuka Singh, and OP Chaudhary in the state. Among them, the names of Sao, who is a close aide of Singh, and Chaudhary, who is a former bureaucrat and a young leader, are being talked about as possible contenders for the chief minister’s post.