Madhya Pradesh CM choice puts question mark on what next for Shivraj

Having been Chief Minister of a big State like Madhya Pradesh for 18 years, it is not just a question for Chouhan’s own career but also the BJP, which faces the General Election of 2024 soon

December 11, 2023 08:08 pm | Updated December 12, 2023 03:56 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Outgoing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tenders his resignation to Governor Mangubhai C. Patel, at Raj Bhavan in Bhopal on December 11, 2023.

Outgoing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tenders his resignation to Governor Mangubhai C. Patel, at Raj Bhavan in Bhopal on December 11, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

Madhya Pradesh on Monday brought curtains down on the Shivraj Singh Chouhan era in the State, with the appointment of three-term MLA Mohan Yadav as Chief Minister, but it gives rise to the question of “what next?” for Mr Chouhan.

Having been Chief Minister of a big State like Madhya Pradesh for 18 years, in power since 2005 barring a 15-month period from December 2018 to March 2020 when the Congress was in power in the State, it is not just a question for Mr. Chouhan’s own career but also the BJP, which faces the General Election of 2024 soon.

Also Read | Madhya Pradesh CM : Who is Mohan Yadav?

Several examples

Going by the record of what has happened to chief ministers post their leaving the post, there are several examples within the BJP of a life after being Chief Minister. Former Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel was made Governor, Sarbananda Sonowal, not repeated as Chief Minister despite his government being voted back to power in Assam, was brought into the Union Cabinet as Minister; former chief ministers of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, Raman Singh and Vasundhara Raje, were made national vice-presidents of the BJP.

Mr. Chouhan himself betrayed little of what he felt on being overlooked at the BJP legislature party meeting in Bhopal that saw Mr. Yadav being elected Chief Minister. The 160 public rallies he did during the poll campaign and the welfare policies of the government he led, like the Laadli Behena yojana, an income support scheme for women launched just this year, point to the fact that he is hardly the kind to gently walk into the sunset of political oblivion. After all, all this was done after the BJP decided that he would not be the face that would represent the campaign and seven Lok Sabha MPs, of whom three were Union Ministers, were made to fight the Assembly polls as well. Mr. Chouhan, however may find that negotiating a path in his own party could be more difficult than facing off against the Congress all these years.

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