The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has changed its strategy in the upcoming assembly elections (Assembly Elections 2023) in five states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh. Instead of the chief minister's face, the party will rely on "collective leadership" and the "Modi factor". Meanwhile, sources in the party have told NDTV the details of the plan to recover from the crushing defeats in Karnataka and Himachal elections this year and counter the performance of the opposition alliance INDIA in the bypolls held earlier this month.
Sources have also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not project a CM candidate in Hindi-speaking states (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh) in an attempt to keep the ambitions and rivalries of regional leaders under control and strengthen the party. The party will contest elections in these states on collective leadership.
To put it simply, the BJP is hoping that candidates with big names will secure seats where they are weak. Also, with the appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the party will win the state elections. In this, the chief minister's post will serve as an incentive for the leaders. Not having a CM face will inspire regional leaders to work harder.
This strategy of BJP is also to curb nepotism in the party and avoid the taunts of dynastic politics. Especially since this allegation is made about the Congress. Sources said the party will now give one ticket per family.
A glimpse of these schemes was introduced in Madhya Pradesh this week. Four MPs, three Union ministers and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya will contest the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh this time. No ticket has been announced (yet) for the current Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
BJP sources told NDTV that it is wrong to say that Shivraj Singh Chouhan will not be given a ticket. He, however, said that any big leader can become the chief minister after the elections. This is also considered a warning to 64-year-old Chauhan.
In the context of preparations for the Madhya Pradesh elections, sources said that fielding MPs and Union ministers gives a message of collective leadership. That message was underlined even today. Sources say that the party hopes that fielding its best team will give it an edge over the Congress. In each of these states, experienced leaders will be tasked with reversing the seats they lost five years ago.
On the lines of Madhya Pradesh, the BJP will use the same approach to overthrow the Congress in the rest of the states i.e. Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
Union ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Ram Meghwal are among the probable chief ministerial faces in the BJP's Rajasthan assembly election plan
. Along with this, the names of Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Kirori Lal Meena, Lok Sabha MP Diya Kumar, Rajyavardhan Rathore and Sukhvir Singh Jaunpuria are also in the race.
70-year-old Vasundhara Raje, a two-time chief minister and a member of the Scindia royal family, is unlikely to return in this election. Even though he is seen as the biggest and most influential leader of the BJP in the state. How the party handles Vasundhara Raje will be crucial. Because Raje would almost certainly not like to sit in the Assembly as an MLA under another chief minister.
The first list of BJP candidates for Rajasthan is expected soon. In this, the names of candidates can be announced on 49 seats. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party chief JP Nadda are likely to release the list of candidates after meeting in Jaipur on Wednesday evening.
Now talk about Chhattisgarh. Here BJP has chosen a different path. The BJP has named Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's nephew Vijay as its candidate for the top post. The party would like the family split to be in its favour as it has planned a "Baghel versus Baghel contest".
In Chhattisgarh, Baghel vs Baghel,
Vijay Baghel is a Lok Sabha MP. He will contest from Patan in Durg district. The seat has been witnessing a contest between Bhupesh Baghel and Vijay Baghel since 2003. Bhupesh Baghel has won the last two elections from this seat. Other probable BJP candidates include Union minister Renuka Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Saroj Pandey. Significantly, the BJP has not yet included the name of former Chief Minister Raman Singh in its list. In such a situation, the question is whether BJP will bet on Raman Singh this time?
The BJP's inclination
in Telangana is part of its 'Mission South' plan. The BJP, which is engaged in forming a government in South India, does not want to leave any stone unturned this time. South India has often rejected the party's hardline nationalist agenda.
The party had Karnataka, but its faltering government was ousted by the Congress with a thumping majority earlier this year. Kerala has been completely untouched by the BJP's charm. Tamil Nadu has also rejected Prime Minister Modi's party. On Tuesday, the AIADMK walked out of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have also proved difficult for the BJP.
Telangana goes to polls in November. Here, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy is a potential big-name candidate. Reddy hails from Thimmapur region of Telangana and is also the party's state chief. There is talk that Lok Sabha MPs Bandi Sanjay Kumar and Arvind Dharmapuri may also be fielded. Both of them come from Telangana. Also, the party's OBC front leader and Rajya Sabha MP Dr. K. Laxman can also be fielded.
of Manipur's ethnic violence in Mizoram is also due to elections in Mizoram this year. In neighbouring Manipur, the BJP is likely facing a different kind of challenge due to the impact of ethnic violence.