The BJP national leadership is expected to make the announcement soon about the new Rajasthan chief minister. There are five contenders for the post, including former chief minister Vasundhara Raje.
Daughter of founding BJP leader Vijayraje Scindia and sister of the late Congress leader Madhavrao Scindia, Vasundhara Raje started her political career in 1984 as a member of the BJP national executive, Vice-President of its youth wing and got elected as an MLA from Dholpur.
Her rise was steady and in 2003, she became the state’s first woman Chief Minister when the party rode to power. She has been elected to the state assembly thrice and five times to Lok Sabha and was a minister in the Union government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The others in fray are: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Diya Kumari, Baba Balaknath and Korodi Mal Meena.
Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat was a prominent face in BJP’s poll campaign and had also been involved in a public feud with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot over the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society Scam. In the 2019 general election, Shekhawat affirmed his political prowess by defeating Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav Gehlot.
In a recent NDTV-CSDS Lokniti survey, Shekhawat was among the third-best choices for Chief Ministership, after Vasundhara Raje and Baba Balaknath.
Diya Kumari, a member of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family, has won three elections since joining the BJP in 2013. She was elected MP in the 2019 general election with one of the biggest victory margins of 5.51 lakh votes.
The ‘daughter of Jaipur’ is quite popular among the people, and is known to blend her royal heritage with a down-to-earth persona. She was considered an outsider when she became the Sawai Madhopur MLA but has steadily risen in prominence because of the developmental work in the constituency.
The BJP’s thumping victory in Rajasthan could lead to the rise of another ‘yogi’ – Spiritual leader and Alwar MP Baba Balaknath. He is popularly referred to as the yogi of Rajasthan and is a contender for the Chief Minister post.
The 40-year-old, leading in the Tijara assembly constituency, is known for his controversial remarks. He had likened his contest against Imran Khan to an “India-Pakistan” match.
Kirodi Mal Meena, a BJP veteran, was pulled into the Rajasthan contest with the task of winning over the Meena community. Looking at the party’s performance in Eastern Rajasthan, the 72-year-old seems to have pulled it off with aplomb. Popularly known as “Doctor Sahab” and “Baba,” Mr Meena is among the front-runners for the Rajasthan Chief Minister post.
Rajasthan BJP’s state unit chief CP Joshi is also seen as a strong contender for the Chief Minister’s post. The 48-year-old was given charge of the state unit early this March when it vied with the Congress in making headlines over factionalism. Since then, he has been credited with bringing together the rival factions and crafting a cohesive campaign that focuses on alleged anti-incumbency and Congress’s failures.
With inputs from NDTV