Will Depriving Shivraj Singh Chouhan Of Chief Ministership Help BJP In 2024 Polls? | Arabian Weekly

Will Depriving Shivraj Singh Chouhan Of Chief Ministership Help BJP In 2024 Polls? | Arabian Weekly

By Sushil Kutty

Three-terms in a row and knowing well that he faced the axe, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan thought long and short and took the dive for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who dumped him to safeguard his own future. Modi fought on his own “name and face” to guarantee a third-time for himself for which Chouhan worked hard. Now, just as expected, Modi made an unknown the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Modi-friendly media are calling it another ‘Modi-masterstroke’.

The Ujjain South MLA, Mohan Yadav, is Chouhan’s replacement. The Yadav surname is expected to open the doors to Yadav vote-banks in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana. The irony – Prime Minister Narendra Modi railed against Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Caste Census’, but plumbed new lows by pandering to caste politics. Modi’s CM-picks are examples of the Prime Minister’s cavalier attitude to a principled stand. Modi’s somersaults do not exactly cover the Prime Minister in glory. Why do politicians play with falsehoods? Maybe because they become them, Prime Minister Narendra Modi “misleads” is not new.

The reality is, caste is the BJP’s election template. Scratch and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be bristling ‘Caste Census’. In fact, Modi’s pick for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is wholly caste-based and the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister is an “adivasi”. Even the deputy chief minister-picks have caste/adivasi chips on their shoulders.

What’s left unfulfilled is the promise of a woman Chief Minister. The glass ceiling was shattered in Rajasthan with Vasundhara Raje Scindia, but will somebody less hoity-toity be chosen this time? Vasundhara Raje Scindia is too imperious for the BJP’s current OBC leadership.

That said, OBC Mohan Yadav is getting his share of attention and not all of it is good. Yadav is being accused of revamping a Ujjain master-plan and he is apparently too friendly with cuss words of the worst kind. ‘Gaali-galoch’ is right up the new Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s alley and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has never been in the questionable ‘gali’.

By the way, Modi will not risk contesting the Lok Sabha elections 2024 without pandering to the Yadav vote-bank. Mohan Yadav also fits the RSS talking points and perhaps is the Sangh’s choice. Hindutva sits nice and easy on Mohan Yadav’s head and shoulders, and ‘Hindu asmita’ is a BJP dog-whistle for the 2024 general elections.

That said, the fact that Modi and Shah chose an OBC Chief Minister for Madhya Pradesh will impact Rajasthan BJP, too. Come to think of it, Rajasthan is more Hindutva-struck than Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh put together. Also, by far more minority-struck, too. The story is that the Rajasthan unit of the Congress paid the price for Ashok Gehlot’s unwavering anti-Hindu and alleged pro-minority stance. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was so completely “secular” that he was of no use to the Hindu majority and every bit in cahoots with the Muslim minority.

It is no secret that the BJP has been using Hindutva and OBC politicians for getting a grip on north India for upwards of two decades. However, there’s this theory going around that the replacement of old warhorses with fresh legs is deliberate and is being done to clear the route for Union Home Minister Amit Shah once Modi is done with being Prime Minister.

In fact, the theory is the fertile imagination of a Congress spokesman. Though farfetched, one can take flights of fancy with the theory. The appointment of Mohan Yadav fits a pattern. Loyalty is no longer template and relative youth is craven. Transplanting an older leadership with a relatively younger leadership to match newer and younger lots of vote-banks.

What however gets the goat of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan sort is that their careers are cut short for no apparent sound reason. The three Hindi heartland states were not won on Modi’s name and face alone. A vociferous “second campaign” superimposed Modi’s no-campaign on the campaign spearheaded by the likes of Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jyotiraditya Scindia. Modi’s name and face can be spoken off as the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself.

The Opposition had its chance. A couple of the Hindi heartland states in the Congress kitty and the BJP would have been on the ropes with a Tyson punch to the solar plexus. But that did not happen and there are no more chances left before the big one in mid-2024. The question is, would Modi and Shah have done to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath what they did to Shivraj Singh Chouhan – disembowelment from chief ministership? (IPA Service)

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