Union Minister Narendra Singh resigned as MP on Wednesday.New Delhi:
Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Prahlad Singh Patel resigned from the Lok Sabha on Wednesday after the BJP's top brass decided that all MPs elected in the recent assembly elections will resign from their parliamentary membership. This significant political development also gives clear indications that the MPs who have resigned will join the future government in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The move has also given rise to a view that the party leadership could give rise to new faces for chief minister's posts in the three states. However, senior party leaders refused to comment on the matter.
Ten MPs, accompanied by party president JP Nadda, met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, after which the MPs submitted their resignations and then all of them met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Prime Minister's Office in Parliament House complex.
Besides Tomar and Patel, the 10 MPs who resigned are Jabalpur MP Rakesh Singh, Sidhi MP Riti Pathak, Hoshangabad MP Uday Pratap Singh, Rajasthan's Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari, Jaipur MP Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Rajya Sabha member Kirori Lal Meena, Chhattisgarh's Arun Sao and Gomti Sai.
Alwar MP Baba Balak Nath and Union minister Renuka Singh will also resign soon, sources said. Both have won the assembly elections.
Patel said he took blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Singh before resigning.
After resigning as members of Parliament, the three Union ministers will have to resign from the Union Council of Ministers as part of a procedural formality. Tomar is a member of the Union Cabinet and holds important portfolios like the agriculture department. Patel and Renuka Singh are ministers of state. His possible resignation from the Union council of ministers has triggered a fresh debate on whether Modi will induct new members in his council of ministers ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Tomar, a veteran organisational leader, and Patel, who hails from the politically crucial Other Backward Classes, are being seen as potential chief ministerial choices along with Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh. Chouhan has been heading Madhya Pradesh since 2005 (except for the 15-month Congress government).
There is speculation in the party that the top leadership may hand over the responsibility to one of the three sitting MPs with the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan. He, however, added that political factors related to the social equation would be crucial in deciding the names of chief ministers in the three states.
Raje, 70, has been a two-time chief minister but her equation with the party's national leadership has not been very smooth.
Sao, who belongs to an OBC community, and Sai, who belongs to a Scheduled Tribe, are seen as serious contenders due to their social background, image and relatively youthful profile. The fate of three-time chief minister Raman Singh (71) is also being discussed, but there is a view in the party that the BJP leadership is looking for a generational change in the leadership of states.
A party leader referred to the prime minister's recent address that for him women, youth, poor and farmers are the four biggest castes, saying it could also play a role in the final decision.
With less than five months left for the Lok Sabha elections, the party is likely to send out a larger message about its social agenda with its choice for the chief minister's post.
The sources also did not rule out the possibility of deputy chief ministers being appointed in states to balance social equations and enhance administrative importance.
The BJP had fielded a total of 21 MPs in the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. Of these, 12 have won. The BJP had fielded seven MPs each in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, four in Chhattisgarh and three in Telangana.
Besides Tomar (Dimani) and Patel (Narsinghpur), the other MPs who won from Madhya Pradesh are Rakesh Singh (Jabalpur West), Riti Pathak (Sidhi) and Uday Pratap Singh (Gadarwara). Union minister Faggan Singh Kulaste lost his residence and Satna MP Ganesh Singh lost from Satna assembly seat.
In Rajasthan, the BJP had fielded six Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha member in the assembly elections. Four of them won. These include Diya Kumari (Vidyadhar Nagar), Rathod (Jhotwara) and Baba Balaknath (Tijara) and Rajya Sabha member Meena (Sawai Madhopur).
In Rajasthan, Ajmer MP Bhagirath Chaudhary lost from Kishangarh, Jalore Sirohi MP Devji Patel from Sanchore and Jhunjhunu MP Narendra Kumar Khichd from Mandawa.
The four MPs fielded by the BJP from Chhattisgarh — Arun Sao (Lormi), Renuka Singh (Bharatpur-Sonhat) and Gomti Sai (Pathalgaon) — won the seat. Party MP Vijay Baghel had to face defeat at the hands of his uncle and former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
In the Telangana Assembly elections, the BJP had bet on three of its four and all three had to face defeat. Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay lost from Karimnagar constituency, while Nizamabad MP Arvind Dharampuri lost from Koratla constituency. Similarly, Adilabad MP Soyam Bapu Rao lost from Both constituency.
The party did not field Union Minister G Kishan Reddy in the assembly elections. Besides being a Union minister, he is also the Telangana BJP president.
The BJP did not announce its chief ministerial candidates in all the three states. The party had put forward the BJP's election symbol lotus and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's face in these elections.
After the election results, the BJP has not yet announced who will become the Chief Minister in any of the three states. Usually, the name of the Chief Minister is stamped in the BJP Parliamentary Board and then the formality of selecting the leader is completed in the meeting of the legislative party. Before the legislature party meeting, the party appoints central observers in the poll-bound states.