BJP’s MPs-turned-MLAs quit Parliament as CM race heats up in three States

BJP president J.P. Nadda accompanied 10 of them as they tendered their resignations from Parliament

Updated - December 12, 2023 07:59 pm IST

Published - December 06, 2023 04:44 pm IST - New Delhi

Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar being presented with a certificate as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wins the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, in Gwalior. File.

Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar being presented with a certificate as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wins the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, in Gwalior. File. | Photo Credit: ANI

The BJP on December 6 decided that all 12 of its MPs who have been elected as MLAs in the recently concluded Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh will quit their parliamentary membership, including Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Prahlad Singh Patel.

BJP president J.P. Nadda accompanied 10 of the MPs, including Rajya Sabha MP Kirodi Lal Meena, as they tendered their resignations from Parliament. Two more MPs, Union Minister Renuka Singh and Mahant Balaknath, will also quit, party leaders said. “It has been decided that all would be quitting and taking their place in State Assemblies,” said a senior source in the party.

Also Read: BJP announces Bhajanlal Sharma as Rajasthan CM

The BJP has not yet taken any steps to declare Chief Ministers for the three Hindi heartland States which it won handsomely in last month’s polls. Against that backdrop, the decision that all MPs-turned-MLAs will quit Parliament has given rise to speculation that the party leadership may bring in new faces at the helm in all the three States.

Lokniti-CSDS Survey | ‘Satisfied with Ashok Gehlot government, but more so with Central government’

Possible Cabinet reshuffle

Lok Sabha members who put in their papers include Rakesh Singh, Uday Pratap Singh, Riti Pathak, Mr. Patel, and Mr. Tomar from Madhya Pradesh; Diya Kumari and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore from Rajasthan; and Gomati Sai and Arun Sao from Chhattisgarh. Mr. Meena, a Rajya Sabha MP from Rajasthan, also quit.

Mr. Patel said that the MPs had taken Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blessings before tendering their resignations.

All three Union Ministers — Mr. Patel, Mr. Tomar, and Ms. Singh — will also resign from the Council of Ministers as a procedural formality. Given that Mr. Tomar is a Cabinet Minister handling the crucial Agriculture portfolio, their departure has sparked a fresh buzz within the party on whether the Prime Minister will induct new members into his Council of Ministers ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

CM calculations

Mr. Patel, who comes from a politically significant other backward class (OBC) community, and Mr. Tomar, a seasoned administrator, are both seen as possible Chief Ministerial choices in Madhya Pradesh. The other main candidate is the incumbent CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been at the helm in the State since 2005, except for five months when Kamal Nath headed a Congress government after the 2018 Assembly election.

Amid speculation within the party that its leadership may pick one of the outgoing MPs as the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan, where veteran leader Vasundhara Raje is also in the race, its senior functionaries said that political factors involving social equations will be a key consideration in naming the three new CMs. Ms. Raje, 70, is a two-term former CM, but her equation with the party’s national leadership has not been very smooth.

New faces

Mr. Sao, an OBC, and Ms. Sai, who comes from a Scheduled Tribe community, are both seen as serious contenders in Chhattisgarh due to their social backgrounds, image, and relatively young profiles. Other contenders include former bureaucrat-turned-MLA O.P. Choudhary.

A party leader pointed to the Prime Minister’s recent exhortations that women, youth, the poor, and farmers are the four biggest castes for him, noting that this may play a role in the final decision. “The decisions will be taken with regard to the future of the BJP in these States, social agenda, and the ability of the Chief Minister to govern as well as helm party affairs firmly,” a source said.

The BJP has swept to power in the three Hindi-speaking States, dismissing any challenge from the Congress as it raced to a two-thirds majority in Madhya Pradesh, and a comfortable majority in the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. In the run-up to the polls, the BJP campaigned on a collective leadership pitch, with Mr. Modi heading the effort.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.