The Print – Four other CM contenders in MP but here’s why BJP likely to go with Shivraj Chouhan again

Madhya Pradesh looks set for a change in government with Congress leader Kamal Nath resigning as chief minister ahead of the floor test.

Shanker Arnimesh

Bhopal – Madhya Pradesh – India, 20 March 2020. With the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Friday, the BJP is set to form the state government under former three-term chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, ThePrint has learnt.

While there are other contenders, primarily BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and former state minister Narottam Mishra, sources said the party was unlikely to look beyond Chouhan, who is seen as a popular leader.

The BJP will have to field and ensure the victory of the 22 Congress rebels, the sources added, and Chouhan’s popularity was key to this objective.

“Shivraj Singh Chouhan has a clear-cut edge in becoming the chief minister for the fourth time over other contenders,” a source said.

“Being a popular chief minister, he was the face of the BJP in the 2018 assembly elections and he was just short of a majority, so it is very unlikely that the BJP high command will deny Shivraj Singh Chouhan chief minister-ship,” the source added.

A party strategist said the new leader will be chosen at a BJP legislature party meeting. “Other formalities will be decided after the meeting,” the strategist added.

Why Shivraj is essential in the number game

Other main contenders for the chief minister’s chair include Vijayvargiya, who serves as general secretary in charge of West Bengal and is known as former BJP president Amit Shah’s man, and Mishra, the BJP whip who was instrumental in “managing the Congress MLAs”, according to the sources.

There was a glimpse of internal conflict at a legislature party meeting last week when supporters of Chouhan and Mishra raised slogans against each other.

Mishra was also a contender when the BJP was looking to decide the leader of the opposition, but Shivraj voted for Gopal Bhargava, a low-profile leader, to ensure he willingly hands over charge in the event of a change in government, sources said.

There are two other contenders in Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, a Modi-Shah confidant and good friend of Chouhan who served as state party president when he was chief minister, and state BJP chief Vishnu Dutt Sharma.

However, according to sources, the two upper caste leaders are unlikely to make the cut over Chouhan, a member of the other backward classes. Also, said one source, Chouhan only put in efforts in the recent machinations when the BJP high command assured him that he would lead the battle.

“Tomar is a good organiser but at this juncture he can’t ensure wins of defected MLAs,” the source added. Vijayvargiya said he didn’t expect a role in Madhya Pradesh given that he had “big work” to do in West Bengal ahead of the 2021 assembly polls.

“I am doing big work assigned by Amit Shah to defeat the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal,” said Vijayvargiya. “This is much bigger work and it is not completed yet. So there is little question of my candidature. Shivraj ji is at the helm of affairs and the party will select a leader after the trust vote.”

Kamal Nath and Congress out – Shivraj Chouhan and BJP in

Four other CM contenders in MP but here’s why BJP likely to go with Shivraj Chouhan again – 1984 Sikh genocide instigator Kamal Nath now mocks Gurbani

Sikh24 Editors

Hew Delhi – India, 28 July 2019. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee has strongly condemned Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath distorting verses of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Kamal Nath rephrased Gurbani verses for personal glorification on his Facebook.

On a Facebook post, Kamal Nath’s official page posted a graphic that distorted the following verse by Guru Gobind Singh ji –

“Sava Lakh Se Ek Ladaun Tabhi Gobind Singh Naam Kahaun”.

SGPC President Bhai Gobind Singh Longowal condemned Kamal Nath. He told Sikh24 that Kamal Nath has been harming Sikh sentiments. “Kamal Nath used his name in place of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, in a post posted on his Facebook,” Bhai Longowal said.

Bhai Gobind Singh Longowal said that Kamal Nath had demonstrated his dislike of the Sikhs by doing so. “With this move he has the anger and resentment of the Sikh sangat,” he added.

When asked if the SGPC would take legal action, Bhai Longowal said the apex Sikh body was looking into it but so far they have not taken any legal action.

It is noteworthy that Kamal Nath has been accused of inciting a mob at Gurdwara Rakabganj Sahib on November 1, 1984, where two Sikhs were burnt alive. An FIR was registered against Kamal Nath but due to his political influence, he has so far evaded arrest.

1984 Sikh Genocide Instigator Kamal Nath Now Mocks Gurbani