Following the series of victories in the assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, several top-level party leaders have emerged as frontrunners for managing the respective state governments. While the veteran Kamal Nath is in contention for the chief ministership in Madhya Pradesh, Ashok Gehlot is battling for the same post in Rajasthan. Bhupesh Baghel, a senior Congress associate and the face of the Chhattisgarh congress, is a prime contender for becoming the chief minister of the state in the wake of their resounding victory against the ruling BJP in the just-concluded Assembly elections.
The newly-elected members in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan met in the presence of Congress high command leaders and passed an assenting resolution leaving it to Congress President Rahul Gandhi to decide the deserving candidates for the chief minister’s position in the respective states. The central observers are expected to reach Delhi and notify Gandhi about their detailed assessments that include individual consultations with MLAs.
Party leaders and contenders for chief ministership Kamal Nath and Jyotiradtiya Scindia in Madhya Pradesh and Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan met the respective Governors of their states and submitted their claim to form the government. In Jaipur, outside the venue of Congress legislature party meeting, the supporters from the youth wing of Congress raised slogans saluting the leadership of Sachin Pilot.
The claim of the Congress to form the next government was galvanised by the extended support of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party in keeping the BJP out of the equation. BSP chief Mayawati also announced the full-fledged support of her six MLAs in Rajasthan.
In Madhya Pradesh, Congress fell short of securing an absolute majority by just two seats while in Rajasthan they managed to pull off a stunner with the record 100+ seats. In Chhattisgarh, it scored aland slide victory by securing 68 of the 90 seats.
Senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge addressed to the press in Raipur stating that the MLAs are about to meet and resort to the Congress procedure of electing a new leader in which they will be consulted. Amidst an albatross situation, the Congress President might opt for giving importance to seniority ahead of youth since some grave situations can be smartly handled by some of the deft administrators who have years of experience in soliciting different political situations.
Kamal Nath, a nine-time MP, was appointed the Madhya Pradesh unit chief early this year followed by the appointment of the other aspirant, Scindia, who was later made the campaign committee chief.Both are MPs and did not contest the assembly polls.
In Rajasthan, Gehlot, a former two-timeChief Minister, was plotted in the electoral fracas, along with Pilot at the last minute and both of them have won their seats. Pillot is known to boost the party’s efforts in the previous four years, and he is the prime figure behind the dislodging of Vasundhara Raje Government. Both of them met Governor KalyanSingh on Wednesday along with several other Congress leaders.
Chhattisgarh chief ministerial candidature will go unchallenged since Baghel is going to be a unanimous choice for the party leaders especially after the assassination of its top leaders, including Vidya Charan Shukla, Nand Kumar Patel and Mahendra Karma, by Maoists more than five years ago.