The anticipation surrounding the next chief minister of Madhya Pradesh is poised to culminate on Monday as the BJP's recently elected 163 legislators assemble to choose their leader, supervised by central observers. Following the November 17 assembly elections where the BJP secured a dominant 163 out of 230 seats, the party has appointed Manohar Lal Khattar, K Laxman, and Asha Lakra as central observers for the crucial decision, as reported by PTI.
The meeting, originally slated for Sunday, has been rescheduled to Monday, with the central observers expected to arrive in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday evening or Monday morning. This marks the third instance in the past 19 years that the BJP has dispatched central observers to the state, emphasizing the significance of the event.
Interestingly, the BJP entered the recent elections without projecting incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan as its face, a departure from its 20-year practice. With Chouhan's tenure as the longest-serving chief minister of BJP, speculations arise that the party might opt for another Other Backward Classes (OBC) leader.
In the event of a change, Prahlad Patel, a Lodhi and former Union minister who resigned upon being elected from Narsinghpur assembly seat, emerges as a likely contender. The BJP has historically favored OBC leaders for the top post in Madhya Pradesh since 2003, aligning with the significant OBC population in the state.
The potential candidates, including Narendra Tomar, Kailash Vijayvargiya, and V D Sharma, have already met key party figures in Delhi. Despite public denials of their aspirations for the chief ministerial role, the behind-the-scenes discussions hint at the intricate dynamics within the BJP as they approach this pivotal decision.