Shivraj Chouhan Sidelined In Madhya Pradesh Campaign? What BJP Say

The BJP has put out two lists so far and, in an unusual move, these include three union ministers – Narendra Tomar, Prahlad Patel, and Faggan Singh Kulaste – and its national general secretary, Kailash Vijayvargiya, as well as others who are sitting parliamentarians. The strength of these lists have been brought out by the opposition Congress, which has derided the ruling party for “accepting defeat”.

BJP sources have replied to that insult by pointing out that no sitting Madhya Pradesh minister has been named so far – regarded by some as another indicator Mr Chouhan is to be sacked. The same sources have also stated deploying MPs and union ministers conveys a sense of “collective leadership”.

According to reports, the BJP is concentrating on “curbing nepotism” and winning seats, and regional leaders must now convince the national leadership of the party of their value in order to stand a chance in state elections.

Importantly, the BJP’s apparent switch to the “unity” narrative occurs in a state where it is likely to confront an undivided opposition – the INDIA bloc, which may battle this election together rather than fight among themselves, as they may do in states like Bengal, Punjab, and Kerala.

The BJP’s choice to field some of its top personalities in a state vote also seems to imply it is working towards strengthening seats in which it believes it is weak and susceptible to opposition attacks.

Mr. Chouhan is still engaged in the group game in the meantime.

In his initial response to the lists, he declared, “This is excellent and unprecedented. All our top leaders will contest. This will guarantee that we win big.

And on Monday he addressed a party workers conference in Bhopal and criticised the Congress for having labelled Madhya Pradesh a ‘BIMARU’ state and lauded his government for having removed that designation.

“Remember that dark time… when Congress rendered Madhya Pradesh a ‘bimaru rajya’ (a ‘sick’ state, referring to states that perform poorly on key economic metrics). We’ve done away with that stigma.

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