Is BJP’s landslide win in Madhya Pradesh polls end of ‘one man show’ in state?

So far, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been seen as arguably the most prominent face of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. — IANS

Bhopal, Dec 6 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has registered a thumping victory in the recently concluded Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls by winning 163 of 230 seats, retaining power in the state and handing the opposition Congress a massive defeat.

The results, according to political analysts, have also led to a debate in the state’s political circles, with many wondering if this is the end of the “one man show” in the state? So far, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been seen as arguably the most prominent face of the BJP in the central Indian state, with “Mamaji” — as the CM is also popularly known — leading the party from the front since the last one-and-a-half decade.

This time, however, many have been left wondering if Chouhan would be handed the chief ministerial post for the fifth time. Also, it is yet to be learned if a new face will replace Chouhan as CM along with two deputies for the fresh face.

According to political analysts, the ‘one man show’ in Madhya Pradesh seems to have ended, as several BJP heavyweights who were earlier either sidelined or not seen much involved in Madhya Pradesh politics, have now made a “comeback”. And the list is long.

Even as everyone in the state’s political corridors acknowledges Chouhan’s leadership skills and credits him with the BJP’s success, this time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also pitched in several leaders who have considerable influence in the state’s politics.

These leaders also include Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, and senior BJP member Kailash Vijayvargiya.

With PM Modi’s move working wonders for the party, the ‘one man show’ is likely to end this time.

Two Union Ministers – Narendra Singh Tomar and Prahlad Singh Patel, who have won the Assembly elections, resigned from their Lok Sabha membership on Wednesday.

Other BJP Lok Sabha MPs, who won the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, including former state BJP president Rakesh Singh, have also resigned from Parliament.

If sources are to be believed, Tomar and Patel have put themselves strongly in as the replacement of the incumbent Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

BJP’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, who won the Assembly election from Indore-1, and is considered a prominent “political competitior” of Chouhan, is also said to be in the CM race.

Vijayvargiya is an established saffron party leader in Malwa-Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh, and he enjoys a strong bond with the BJP’s second most powerful leader – Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Once, he also used to be seen as the “prime challenger” to CM Chouhan’s “one-man show politics”.

Besides, Madhya Pradesh unit BJP president V.D. Sharma also seems to be not far behind in taking credit for the landslide victory.

At the same time, CM Chouhan is leaving no opportunity to claim that his flagship – “Ladli Behna Yojana” has been a game-changer.

Sharma, on the other hand, claimed he has strengthened the root-level cadre of the party in the last two-and-half-years.

Sharma, an MP from Khajuraho constituency, took over charge as the state president in February 2020.

His growing influence in politics has been one of the key reasons for the “rift” between him and CM Chouhan.

Sharma has apparently been trying to make his efforts recognised by the party’s central leadership.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, who switched to the BJP from the Congress in March 2020, has got a much-needed relief as the saffron party won 18 seats in his turf Gwalior-Chambal region this time, up from 7 in 2018.

With him, the Congress in 2018 won 26 out of 36 seats in the region, and without him in the camp in 2023, managed to secure only 16 seats.

The political circles have already been listening to speculations about Scinida taking over command in Madhya Pradesh. A similar murmur is being heard again, though with some ‘if’ and ‘but’.

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