After Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was excluded from the BJP’s top decision-making body, Madhya Pradesh’s political circles are drawing a straight line between his exit and the state elections due next year.
“We used to think that he will move to the Centre after 2023 but now the party is not in a mood to keep him in key positions,” said Congress’s Govind Singh, Leader of Opposition in the assembly.
State BJP leaders have said there isn’t anything to worry about for him. “Is there any other chief minister on the BJP Parliamentary Board? No. He would have something to worry about if there was any other CM included,” said BJP spokesperson Divya Gupta.
The Congress — alleging that the state government is corrupt hence shaky — insists the exclusion is “a clear sign to Shivraj Chouhan from the top”. “There are many leaders in BJP who feel they can replace him now,” said Govind Singh, “Let’s wait and watch.”
Mr Chouhan, a prominent face from among the Other Backward Classes (OBC), and the longest serving BJP chief minister of any state with 15 years in the chair, hasn’t said anything beyond congratulating the new board.