Bypoll take aways: BJP CMs in focus after MP victory, Himachal rout

Both Chouhan and Thakur for a while have been seen as prospective candidates in the saffron party’s leadership reset agenda.

Published: 04th November 2021 03:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th November 2021 08:51 AM   |  A+A-

Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur

Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur (Photo | ANI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  BJP’s by-election victories in Madhya Pradesh may give breather to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while closer scrutiny is likely on his Himachal Pradesh counterpart Jairam Thakur as the party put up a poor show in the Himalayan state.

Both Chouhan and Thakur for a while have been seen as prospective candidates in the saffron party’s leadership reset agenda.

The ruling party is likely to review the bypolls performance in its national executive meeting on November 7. The campaign responsibilities for the bypolls were left on the local leadership, with the larger narrative shaped around the milestone of 100 crore Covid-19 vaccinations.

Chouhan, who had made multiple visits to Dehli, which also included a meeting with PM Modi, was being widely speculated in the BJP circles of being a candidate for change in the leadership as the ruling party is seeking to project a younger leadership. 

“Chouhan has proven that his popularity remains intact in Madhya Pradesh as he carried out a whirlwind campaigning. The Congress’ loss of support base after the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia continues to give advantage to the BJP in the state. It will be hard for the BJP leadership to change the chief minister as there is no credible alternative in the state unit of the party,” said a senior BJP functionary, who added that Chouhan continued to focus on welfare schemes to win popular support.  

In contrast, Himachal Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is likely to be in a spot after the BJP’s rout in the by-elections, which also included losing the Mandi Lok Sabha constituency to the Congress. 

The BJP national leadership is learnt to have taken note of the infighting in the ranks of the party in the hilly state which will go to Assembly election later next year.

Thakur, incidentally, was summoned to the national capital in the run up to the by-elections amid assessment that the outcome of the elections will set the tone for the Assembly battle next year. 

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