The BJP on Friday appointed some of its top leaders, including defence minister Rajnath Singh, tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, as central observers to oversee the seamless installation of chief ministers in the three states the party has swept.
The chief ministers for the three states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — will actually be picked by the central leadership. The job of the observers involves getting the party MLAs to give their seal of approval to those names without any hiccups.
Rajnath, along with party general secretaries Saroj Pandey and Vinod Tawde, have been assigned Rajasthan. In the desert state, the veteran leader will have to deal with former chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, a strong claimant for the top post. Rajnath is believed to enjoy a good relationship with the feisty Vasundhara, who is said to be staking her claim firmly.
For Madhya Pradesh, Khattar, OBC Morcha chief K. Laxman and BJP national secretary Asha Lakra have been appointed. Incumbent chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a strong claimant but the leadership is learnt to be looking for a generational change.
In tribal-dominated Chhattisgarh, where the BJP snatched power from the Congress, Union tribal affairs ministers Munda, shipping minister Sarbananda Sonowal and party general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam have been assigned. The likelihood of a tribal or an OBC leader getting the chief minister’s post is high.
The results for four states — Telangana was the fourth — came out on Sunday. In Telangana, the Congress announced its chief minister on Tuesday and he took oath on Thursday.