Rajasthan: Suspense Over CM Continues With BJP Yet To Declare Name For Top Post

Despite the Bharatiya Janata Party's decisive victory in Rajasthan, the uncertainty over the Chief Minister's post continues with various prominent leaders in the pool of potential candidates

BJP workers and supporters outside the party headquarters during counting of votes for the Rajasthan

The Bharatiya Janata Party may have cruised to a comfortable victory in Rajasthan, but the ambiguity over the post of the Chief Minister still continues a week after the results were announced.

The BJP which won 115 of 199 assembly seats, leaving the Congress trailing far behind at 69 seats is yet to choose its Chief Minister from among a wide pool of potential candidates.

From the names of the BJP leaders doing rounds as the front runners for the top post, to a fake letter of BJP circulating, and an alleged 'herding of MLAs", the power corridors are abuzz with anticipation.

Besides the two-time chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, the names of Parliamentarian and newly elected MLA from Tijara constituency Mahant Balaknath; Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Ashwani Vaishnav; Jhotwara MLA and erstwhile member of the Jaipur royal family Diya Kumari; and BJP's senior leader Om Mathur are doing rounds as the contenders for the Chief Minister's post in Rajasthan. 

Mathur, who has previously headed the party in the state has emerged as a dark horse for the CM's post with sources suggesting that his rapport with the BJP high command can work in his favour.

Interestingly, what stands common in all the contenders is their reaction on asking whether they be made the chief minister. "The decision will be taken by the central leadership and we shall obey that,” said all the contenders in separate statements to the media.

A purported letter which went viral on social media claimed that Mahant Balak Nath had become the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan. The BJP later had to issue a statement and termed the letter as Fake. “The fake letter”, also states that BJP members Kirodi Lal Meena and Diya Kumari have been assigned as the Deputy CMs.

On Thursday, Former Rajasthan Chief Minister and stalwart BJP leader Vasundhara Raje called on Nadda at the latter’s residence in the national capital. As per the sources, Raje was also asked about the allegations of Hemraj Meena, father of MLA Lalit Meena for flocking five MLAs to a resort and the involvement of the former's son and MP from Jhalawar Dushyant Singh.

"Raje's initial statement to the press stated Rajasthan victory because of the guarantee given by the PM, victory of the strategy given by Amit Shah and the able leadership provided by Nadda ji. A day later her show of strength with around 30 MLAs and her loyalists visiting her clearly states that she is leaving no stone unturned to give her best and become a CM for the third tenure,” a senior office-bearer of the BJP told Outlook.

While Raje loyalists are still hopeful, the sources in Rajasthan BJP reveal that the central leadership wants to have a generational change in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan by replacing the old guards Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje.

CP Joshi, the party’s chief for the desert state, on Thursday, told Media that the final call on the matter will be taken by the Parliamentary Board. "The Parliamentary Board, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the highest decision-making body within the BJP," Joshi told reporters

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