Monday, 30th October 2017

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Old-hand Shivraj Singh Chouhan ahead in CM race

Janata jamboree before janata curfew

  • Published 21.03.20, 4:28 AM
  • Updated 21.03.20, 4:28 AM
  • a min read
BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan and others celebrate at state party headquarters in Bhopal on Friday after Kamal Nath resigned. (PTI)

Shivraj Singh Chouhan appears to have emerged as the frontrunner in Madhya Pradesh despite hectic efforts by his rivals to secure the chief minister’s post after Kamal Nath resigned on Friday ahead of a floor test in the Assembly.

A formal election of the BJP’s legislature party is set to take place on Saturday. While Shivraj appeared to be the clear leader, some sections in the party hinted at a change.

Shivraj has served as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for 13 years and he is widely seen as the tallest leader of the BJP in the state.

“The election of the leader will take place on Saturday and then you will come to know who it is,” a senior BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh said, hinting at the possibility of a change.

Most state leaders, however, said Shivraj was set to return as chief minister with the central leadership realising it would be difficult to ignore him given his connect with the masses. Despite the accrued anti-incumbency of three terms, the BJP had fallen short of majority in the 2018 polls only by a few seats because of Shivraj’s popularity, party leaders feel.

Going by the optics, Shivraj clearly appeared to be at the top as he celebrated the resignation of Kamal Nath. Led by him, BJP leaders celebrated at the Bhopal party office, throwing all Covid-19 protocols to the wind.

In the evening, Shivraj called on Kamal Nath at his residence for a courtesy meeting.

“The current central leadership would like to replace Shivraj with a person of their choice but they can’t afford it,” a BJP leader in

Delhi said, stressing the former chief minister’s dominance over Madhya Pradesh politics.