BJP Brass Nur­tures New State Lead­er­ship Af­ter Elec­tion Losses

EX­PER­I­MENT­ING WITH DIF­FER­ENT EQUA­TIONS In MP, party opts for a Brah­min, Gopal Bhar­gava, as leader of oppn; in Ch­hat­tis­garh, an OBC made op­po­si­tion leader ‘Chouhan & Raje were keen on as­sum­ing role of leader of oppn in MP & Ra­jasthan, re­spec­tively, but wer

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Af­ter elec­tion de­feats in Mad­hya Pradesh, Ra­jasthan and Ch­hat­tis­garh, the BJP brass is ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent caste equa­tions and nur­tur­ing a new lead­er­ship, vis­i­ble in its leader of op­po­si­tion choices for the three states. BJP sources said Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Va­sund­hara Raje were keen on as­sum­ing the role of leader of op­po­si­tion in Mad­hya Pradesh and Ra­jasthan, re­spec­tively, but were ruled out. In MP, the BJP has cho­sen a Brah­min, Gopal Bhar­gava, as the leader of op­po­si­tion. Since 2003, all three chief min­is­ters of the BJP gov­ern­ments in the state — Uma Bharati, Bab­u­lal Gaur and Chouhan — were from Back­ward Classes.

Bhar­gava’s choice comes af­ter the huge re­sent­ment among Brah­mins Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Va­sund­hara Raje and Ra­man Singh


and up­per castes against the BJP in MP fol­low­ing the Cen­tre’s amend­ment of the SC/ST (Pre­ven­tion of

Atroc­i­ties) Act to re­tain sta­tus quo, af­ter the Supreme Court ruled that there should be no im­me­di­ate ar­rest in cases filed un­der the Act. Though BJP did wel l in the Vind­hya re­gion, where up­per castes are present in siz­able num­bers, the anger over the SC/ST Act is seen as one of the rea­sons for its de­feat. The party has cho­sen Bhar­gava to send across a mes­sage to Brah­mins ahead of the Lok Sabha elec­tions. BJP feels this move, along with 10% reser­va­tion for the eco­nom­i­cally weaker sec­tions in the gen­eral cat­e­gory, will help it elec­torally.

In­fight­ing was one of the ma­jor rea­sons for the BJP’s de­feat in Ra­jasthan. That the party could win 73 seats in the 200 mem­ber as­sem­bly de­spite Raje’s con­flict with the cen­tral lead­er­ship has led the party to choose her bete noire Gu­lab Chand Kataria as leader of op­po­si­tion. Kataria, as home min­is­ter was num­ber two in the Raje gov­ern­ment, and is the RSS’ choice. He never got along with Raje and has posed a chal­lenge to­her­lead­er­ship­by­takingouty­a­tras and de­fy­ing her time and again. His ap­point­ment is an in­di­ca­tor that the RSS and BJP cen­tral lead­er­ship aim to take on Congress in Ra­jasthan in the Lok Sabha elec­tions with a new team where Raje will not play a ma­jor role. How­ever, Raje’s lieu­tenant Ra­jen­dra Rathore has been made deputy leader of the party in the as­sem­bly­whichshow­sthat­shestill­has a foothold in the party. The party’s is mak­ing ev­ery ef­fort to mit­i­gate the likely seat loss in Ra­jasthan where it won all 25 seats in 2014.

In Ch­hat­tis­garh, BJP has re­placed Thakur leader Ra­man Singh with Dharam­lal Kaushik, an OBC be­long­ing to the Kurmi com­mu­nity. There were al­le­ga­tions that Singh had favoured peo­ple of his caste dur­ing his rule­an­dalien­ate­dotherBJPlead­ers. The party is eye­ing the siz­able OBC votes in the state and also pre­par­ing a counter to Congress CM Bhu­pesh Baghel­who­be­longstothe­same­caste.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.