By Sushil Kutty
Delay in picking Chief Ministers for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan is telling on the mental agility of claimants for the post in all three states. Look at outgoing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan who can’t stand in one spot for more than an hour at a piece. He is all over the state in one-piece ‘desi’ suits without a stop, breathless and putting his health at risk, willing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take notice and oblige. Then, there is former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, another Chief Ministerial-aspirant on pins and needles, dying to catch the Prime Minister’s eye.
But the Prime Minister appears unconcerned. He looks everywhere but at the aspirants. Actually, you have got all sorts, including a “mahant” like a Yogi Adityanath cameo. BJP insiders have no clue as to the headline claimant, though. The fact is, the Bharatiya Janata Party top brass is afflicted with decision-making slovenliness. Especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Recall how Modi could not get himself to take a decision on Manipur. He got off cheaply for that piece of lethargy.
But some people are born lucky. The number of times Prime Minister Narendra Modi has found himself in sticky situations is only matched by how many times he got out of the quagmire without a scratch on the thick skin. This time, Modi is in the dock for failing to name Chief Ministers for Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan despite time lapsing.
Imagine if Telangana, too, had gone to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sphinx-like squatting on the potential Telangana Chief Minister’s file? The Modi show – which is what the Bharatiya Janata Party is – should know that people did not vote for the BJP to sloth over picking up Chief Ministers.
All three states are now sorry spectacles of headless chickens. Some would call them orphaned states. Let’s be clear – December 3 to December 9 isn’t a short time. A couple of days more and Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan might as well secede from the Union.
The urgent thing to do is to step up to the plate. But that is not happening and the only consolation is Prime Minister Narendra Modi has found central observers. Will it help? Each central observer has a dedicated team. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, central observer for Rajasthan, has Rajya Sabha MP Saroj Pande to assist him.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is the central observer for Madhya Pradesh and central minister Arjun Munda is central observer for Chhattisgarh. The central observers have their tasks cut out. They are handpicked by the top brass. But it would be wrong to assume they are independent to take a final decision on who will be Chief Minister of their given state?
Point is, like with everything else in the current-day Bharatiya Janata Party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi must have the last word. Maybe Rajnath Singh went to Jaipur with the name of the next Rajasthan Chief Minister already in his pocket. Ditto with the central observers for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – Manohar Lal Khattar and Arjun Munda. They too must be armed with the name of a chosen Chief Minister.
The whole point is, why sit on the name? Why the sloth and the delay? What is stopping Prime Minister Narendra Modi from getting it all over, in one fell swoop? Why turn everything into a grand event? Now, after Telangana Chief Minister Revanth Reddy’s grand coronation in Hyderabad, with the entire top leadership of the Congress in attendance, BJP President JP Nadda will be under tremendous pressure to outdo the GOP.
The BJP will go overboard with the coronations of all three BJP Chief Ministers. Money will not be a problem. After all, the BJP is the world’s largest and richest political party. The BJP legislature party of the three states will be meeting and the Chief Ministers will be sworn-in by December 11, says a source, not himself certain but willing to gab.
The problem is, there is a dilemma factor to contend with in all three states. Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan are blowing in the wind, and then there’s the dilemma, whether to go with an OBC face or a tribal one in Chhattisgarh? The grapevine says Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants at least one woman Chief Minister and so that is locked. The BJP top brass will turn everything upside down if Prime Minister Narendra Modi desires so. If asked/required, top BJP leaders will even keep the choice of Chief Ministers hanging if that brings a smile on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face. (IPA Service)