Out of the 25 appointments, seven are from the Scindia ‘camp’. The rest are seen as close to CM Chouhan. Some of the appointments came from the RSS quota.

 

New Delhi: Last week’s appointment of BJP leaders in Madhya Pradesh to various corporations and boards has confirmed the ascendance of Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in the party’s scheme of things in the state. These appointments, BJP leaders say, indicate the faith that the party leadership reposes in Scindia and also make it clear that it is grooming Scindia for a bigger role in the state’s politics in the coming years, post the December 2023 Madhya Pradesh elections.

According to state and national leaders, these appointments have confirmed that Scindia is now the number two in the BJP’s hierarchy after party stalwart and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh.

Out of the 25 appointments that were made, including 14 chairmen/chairperson, seven are from the Scindia “camp”. The rest are seen as close to CM Chouhan. Some of the appointments came from the RSS quota.

The arithmetic applied during this distribution, a party Rajya Sabha member from the state said will be repeated during the ticket distribution for the 2023 Assembly elections that are now less than two years away.

The seven from the Scindia “camp” who have been appointed as chairmen/chairperson of various bodies include, Imarti Devi, Girraj Dandotiya, Aidal Singh Kansana, Ranvir Jatav, Munna Lal Goyal, Raghuraj Kansna and Jaswant Jatav. Apart from 14 chairmen, 11 other leaders have been appointed as vice chairmen.

All these leaders were among the 22 Congress MLAs, whose resignations from the Vidhan Sabha and their parent party led to the fall of the Kamal Nath government in March 2020. All these seven MLAs, however, lost the November 2020 byelections on BJP tickets from the same seats that they had won from as Congress candidates in the 2018 Assembly elections. This led to the latest political rehabilitation by way of appointments in corporations and boards.

Scindia, who lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Guna, Madhya Pradesh was sent to the Rajya Sabha by the BJP in July 2020, after which he was appointed Civil Aviation Minister, a post that was held by his father Madhavrao Scindia in the P.V. Narasimha Rao Cabinet 30 years ago, from 1991 to 1993.

“Until Scindia joined, there was no other prominent leader in Madhya Pradesh BJP except for Shivraj Chouhan. Scindia is young, has experience and has a following.  It is natural that the party will strengthen such leaders (by appointing his followers at various positions) to ensure that the party remains strong in the coming years and there is no gap when the time of political succession comes,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

As is the practice in the BJP while making such appointments, all 25 names were first cleared by BJP National General Secretary (Organisation), B.L. Santosh, who had visited MP in November and had told Chouhan to ensure that the appointments were done as soon as possible. This was done after leaders who had joined the BJP along with Scindia had shared their concerns about the delay in fulfilling the promises made to them.