In a surprising move, BJP leader Mohan Yadav has been named as the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Yadav will replace Shivraj Singh Chouhan as the Chief Minister of state. The decision to appoint Yadav as the CM was taken by the BJP high command on December 10 and announced on December 11. Madhya Pradesh went to poll for 230 assembly seats in a single phase on November 17. The BJP, which had been battling close to 20 years of incumbency in the state, won a resounding mandate, bagging 163 seats, while the Congress finished a distant second at 66 seats.
The decision that came at the party’s legislative meeting was a major surprise as many heavyweights including Narendra Singh Tomar, National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and many more were in the race to replace outgoing CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Yadav is considered a low-profile BJP leader with high-level contacts. Until a few hours ago, he was not even in the list of probable candidates for the CM’s post. With this, the tenure of Chouhan, who ruled Madhya Pradesh for around two decades and established himself as the strongest leader in MP, came to an end on December 10.
The announcement of Yadav as the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh was made at the meeting which was held in the presence of three observers – Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, OBC Morcha head Dr. K Lakshman and National Secretary Asha Lakra. The BJP MLAs had no idea that they were in for a surprise on the leader of the legislative party, and consequently, the Chief Minister. So far, suspense remains on whether the BJP’s central leadership would retain Chouhan for a record fifth term or a new face will be appointed.
For more than a week, political circles in Madhya Pradesh have been abuzz with speculation that the party is more likely to appoint a new face. But the key question is will Yadav as an OBC be the right replacement for Chouhan, who not only ruled the state for nearly two decades, but has established himself as the most popular politician in the state. However, it seems that the BJP decided the Chief Minister’s face keeping the next year’s Lok Sabha elections in mind and therefore, the caste equation would play a crucial role in the process.
Nobody had any inkling that a surprise name of Yadav would emerge as the chosen one. While some observers put the senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in first place, as a successor to Chouhan is being replaced, some others believe that an OBC face would be the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. At this point, former Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel and the Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia’s names are being speculated. But even if Chouhan is being replaced, his consent is crucial to decide his successor.