Now in his fourth term, Shivraj Chouhan has been facing problems from day one and has to run to Delhi for almost everything.

 

New Delhi: Probably it is the first time in the recent past that the central leadership of the BJP is under scrutiny due to the unending drama in Madhya Pradesh. First of all, after the swearing-in of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, the process of Cabinet expansion took more than three months and around a dozen meetings before 2 July. Later, portfolio allotment was on hold for more than a week followed by constant inputs from Delhi, raising several questions. The first of them is how they will run this government in these conditions? Has the BJP’s strong central leadership in front of the state leaders weakened a bit or are they not in the mood to run this government for long?

It is one of the rare occasions in BJP where people and political pundits have started extrapolation on the tenure of the Chief Minister from the day of the swearing-in ceremony. That too of Shivraj Chouhan, who has run his governments successfully for three consecutive full terms in the past. Now in his fourth term, he has been facing problems from day one. He has to run to Delhi for almost everything and still issues remain unresolved.

Jyotiraditya Scindia has joined BJP after discussing all his terms and conditions with Home Minister Amit Shah. BJP has also agreed to all his demands except Union ministerial berth. The Union Minister’s post will be decided only when the Prime Minister decides on the expansion. Earlier, the corona pandemic and Chinese incursion had deferred the expansion; now Bihar has put an obstruction. The BJP is not in the mood to create a controversy in Bihar by expanding in the current circumstances. Scindia also understands that expansion will be on hold until Prime Minister Modi decides. Considering the forthcoming Madhya Pradesh by-elections, his supporters are hopeful that Scindia will become Union Minister in this month only. Cabinet ministry for Scindia will improve the prospect of BJP in the 24 seats in the coming elections.

So does that mean that the BJP high command is taking these forthcoming elections lightly? Madhya Pradesh BJP is not happy with the state Cabinet expansion. State leaders are saddened by the neglect. Sources said that CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan was able to appoint only one of his loyalists as a minister, while the recommendation of a leader like Kailash Vijayvargiya was not accepted. However, Home Minister Amit Shah assured Kailash Vijayvargiya that everything will be all right in December. This understanding poses two scenarios, either there would be Union Cabinet expansion or there is something more to unfold in Madhya Pradesh. It is evident that the central leadership in the BJP means Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and new party president J.P. Nadda only. Despite unquestioned might of he central leadership, if issues are pending, then it indicates that the  contention is all about portfolios. And even if it is so, still it hurts the image of the Chief Minister and the BJP. To milk this opportunity, Congress in-charge Mukul Wasnik, former Chief Minister Kamal Nath and in-charge secretaries C.P. Mittal and Kuldeep Indora are hunting for angry BJP leaders. Congress wants to reply to BJP in the same coin.