BJP 3-chief ministers in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, RSS constant and caste Tribal OBC Brahmin variables

A tribal leader in Chhattisgarh, a leader from numerically strong Other Backward Classes (OBC) in Madhya Pradesh, and a Brahmin in Rajasthan — the BJP’s picks for the Chief Minister post seem to be the party’s efforts to balance out the caste equation in the three crucial states. In the surprise picks for the CM faces, the common thread that bound the decision is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) imprint and a carefully crafted caste matrix.

The party’s pick for the Deputy Chief Ministers and Speakers in the three states also seems to be a conscious decision to make sure that all sentiments are taken care of and no group feels slighted.

In Rajasthan, Sanganer MLA Bhajan Lal Sharma, a Brahmin, was announced as the next Chief Minister on Tuesday. Diya Kumari, a royalty, and Premchand Bairwa, a leader from the Scheduled Caste, were appointed as his deputies. A Sindhi leader, Vasudev Devnani, was appointed Speaker for the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.

In Madhya Pradesh, Mohan Yadav’s appointment as the Chief Minister came as a surprise to many. The 58-year-old is a three-time MLA from Ujjain South and a prominent leader of OBCs, a group that accounts for more than 48 per cent of the state’s population.

Mohan Yadav’s deputies, Jagdish Devda and Rajendra Shukla, hail from the Dalit and the Brahmin community, respectively, while Rajput leader Narendra Singh Tomar has been appointed the Speaker.

Meanwhile, 59-year old Vishnu Deo Sai, a prominent tribal leader, was given charge as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, one of the two states the BJP wrested from Congress in the recently concluded polls.

Arun Sao, who belongs to the Sahu community (which falls under the OBC category), was inducted into Sai’s Cabinet as Deputy Chief Minister along with Brahmin leader Vijay Sharma. Raman Singh, who hails from the Rajput community, will take charge as Speaker.

The one thing common between the three chief minister-designates is their RSS link. All three — Bhajan Lal Sharma, Mohan Yadav, and Vishnu Deo Sai– are considered to be close to the RSS.

With months to go for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, where the BJP is eyeing a third term at the Centre, the choice of leaders for the top posts in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan seems to be party’s efforts to woo voters across the caste lines. The choices seem to be consistent with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to reach out to all castes and groups.

Published On:

Dec 12, 2023

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