Madhya Pradesh BJP MLA meeting: The Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) newly-elected MLAs in Madhya Pradesh will meet on December 11 (Monday) to elect the leader of the legislative party. BJP retained power in MP in the November 17 polls emphatically winning 163 seats in the 230-member Assembly, leaving the Congress a distant second with 66 seats.
However, it had not project a Chief Minister face, with the campaign relying heavily on the mass appeal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The meeting is expected to begin at 4:00 pm on Monday and the name of CM may be announced by 7:00 pm, an MLA said.
The party's central observers, comprising Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, OBC Morcha head K Laxman and secretary Asha Lakra, are expected to arrive in Bhopal at 11:00 am.
"We have been invited for lunch at 1:00 pm. The meeting will begin at 4:00 pm," the MLA said.
This is for the third time since 2004 that the Bharatiya Janata Party has sent central observers to MP. In August 2004, when Uma Bharti resigned as chief minister, the party's senior leaders Pramod Mahajan and Arun Jaitley were sent as central observers to the state.
In November 2005, when Babulal Gaur resigned from the top post in the state, Rajnath Singh was sent as a central observer to help legislators pick the new chief minister. At the time, Shivraj Singh Chouhan was elected as the leader of the legislative party.
This time, the saffron party contested the Assembly polls without projecting Chouhan as its CM face. Incidentally, Chouhan is a four-time CM, having taken oath in 2005, 2008, 2013 and 2020.
Prahlad Patel, an OBC like Chouhan, former Union minister and newly-elected Dimani MLA Narendra Tomar, Indore heavyweight Kailash Vijayvargiya, state unit chief VD Sharma and Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia are being talked about as front-runners for the post.
Incidentally, since 2003, all three CMs of the BJP in MP, namely Uma Bharti, Babulal Gaur and Chouhan, have been from the Other Backward Classes (OBC). The population of OBCs in MP is around 48 per cent.
Patel, Tomar, Vijayvargiya, Sharma, and Scindia have already met Union Home Minister and BJP's key strategist Amit Shah in New Delhi. They also called on party president JP Nadda.ALSO READ: Madhya Pradesh's 'Laadli Behna' to get Rs 1250 today, announces CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan