In a significant move gearing up for the forthcoming state Assembly elections, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda led a marathon meeting with party leaders from Rajasthan on Tuesday.
The meeting, lasting nearly six hours, included prominent figures like former Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Union ministers Pralhad Joshi, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Arjun Ram Meghwal, along with Rajasthan BJP president C P Joshi.
Pralhad Joshi, in particular, has been assigned the crucial role of the BJP's election in-charge for Rajasthan.
The discussions revolved around finalising the remaining candidates for the November 25 state Assembly polls. The BJP has already announced 41 candidates, including seven MPs, for the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly elections. There is speculation that some Union ministers, notably Shekhawat and Meghwal, might also enter the race as candidates. This strategic move is seen as an effort to strengthen the party's position in the state.
Following the intensive deliberations in Rajasthan, Nadda and Shah continued their discussions, this time with party leaders from Madhya Pradesh. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar were among the key figures present. The BJP has named 136 candidates, including three Union ministers and four other MPs, for the November 17 polls in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly.
Amid the candidate selection process, the party faced internal challenges, with some discontented workers expressing dissatisfaction over ticket allocations. To address these concerns, Nadda engaged with a significant number of BJP functionaries during his visit to the state on Monday.
Notably, there were murmurs of discontent from individuals closely associated with Raje, raising speculations about her stance. However, Raje, often referred to as "maharani" due to her royal lineage, has not publicly expressed any criticism.
In a bid to bolster its ranks, the BJP welcomed new members, including Vishvaraj Singh Mewar, a descendant of the celebrated Mewar king Maharana Pratap Singh, and Bhawani Singh Kalvi, son of Karni Sena founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi.
This move is viewed as the BJP's attempt to reassure the Rajput community, a significant electoral base, following the denial of a ticket to Narpat Singh Rajvi, a five-time MLA and the son-in-law of party stalwart Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.
The BJP's overarching objective in these elections is to unseat the incumbent Congress in Rajasthan and secure victory in Madhya Pradesh, where it faces a fierce competition with the Congress. As the party leadership intensifies its efforts, the upcoming state Assembly elections are poised to be closely watched and pivotal for both the BJP and its political adversaries.