27 C
Guwahati
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

BJP Opts For Continuity, Stability And Youth In CM’s Choice

UP Chief Minister Yogi has proved to be a vote catcher and charismatic leader. So, the BJP high command could not deny him the prize. He is also a good communicator. Added to all these was the Modi magic, and the top BJP leadership, including the Prime Minister, campaigned in the state heavily

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

By: Kalyani Shankar

The BJP has reposed faith in the incumbent chief ministers in all the four states where it won in the recently concluded Assembly elections. Whether it was a coincidence or by design, the big picture is clear: the party high command did not want to disturb the winning formula in these states. The earlier practice has been to nominate a new face. The decisions indicate that the party preferred continuity, stability, and youth.

- Advertisement -

The party had projected Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Pushkar Singh Dhami (Uttarakhand), N Biren Singh (Manipur), and Pramod Sawant (Goa) as its chief ministerial candidates. All four had delivered defeating anti-incumbency.

The BJP high command is already looking at the 2024 elections. The party expects these four chief ministers to focus on delivering their respective states for Modi’s win in 2024. The challenge for them would be to retain the present strength and achieve a more significant electoral victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Also, by that time, Modi would have been in power for ten years.

Dhami lost his own Khatima seat, which he had won twice before, but it did not prevent the party top brass from clearing the 46-year-old for another term. He is the state’s youngest chief minister, and his choice is an attempt to check the factional fights in the state unit. It was also a stability card as Uttarakhand had seen three chief ministers last year. Dhami is perceived to be close to RSS. “In six months, Dhami left his imprint on Uttarakhand, which manifested in the election results,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters after announcing Dhami’s election as the legislature party leader.

The opposition cannot criticise the decision because that was similar to what West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee did after losing her seat in the Assembly polls last year. Like Mamata, Dhami will also have to win a seat in the next six months.

- Advertisement -

Uttarakhand is not the only state where the BJP followed this stability card. In Goa, the party chose Pramod Sawant, in preference to the former state Health minister Viswajit Rane, a front runner for the top job. The simple reason could be that Sawant led the party to victory despite resignations from some key figures, including the son of late former chief minister Manohar Parrikar as well as six former chief ministers and some imported from Congress. He managed to overcome the infighting.

The Goa Assembly polls had an added challenge from Trinamool Congress and Aam Admi Party besides a stiff battle from Congress. Moreover, Sawant delivered Goa, ensuring BJP’s second-best performance ever, winning 20 of the 40 seats needing only one more for the majority.

Sawant, still in his 40s, became Goa’s chief minister in 2019, following the demise of the charismatic mass leader Manohar Parrikar. He is a sober and soft-spoken leader but not a natural leader.

UP Chief Minister Yogi has proved to be a vote catcher and charismatic leader. So, the BJP high command could not deny him the prize. He is also a good communicator. Added to all these was the Modi magic, and the top BJP leadership, including the Prime Minister, campaigned in the state heavily.

- Advertisement -

However, Yogi had no hand in finalizing his cabinet, as cabinet formation was done with consultations with the party high command. It was visible when the OBC leader Keshav Prasad Maurya, who lost his seat, was imposed on Yogi, retaining him as deputy chief minister. Another deputy was an import from the BSP, Brajesh Pathak. It was a bold step to drop 26 ministers and induct 32 freshers this time. Yogi’s team has a perfect balance with 21 ministers from upper castes and 20 from other backward castes. Eight Dalits, one from the scheduled tribe, Muslim and Sikh communities, made up the rest.

On the day of sweating-in, held in a big stadium, one can see the prominent slogan” ‘Shapath, Shapath, Shapath: Rashtravadki, Sushashanki, Surakshaki, Vikaski’ (Promise, promise, promise for Nationalism, Good Governance, Security and Development). It may be Modi’s slogan for the 2024 polls. The BJP has to ensure two important things. The first is the Modi magic and the second implementation of welfare schemes. They have another two and half years to prepare for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

There is no surprise in this shift in strategy, as the focus is to build strong chief ministers in states to implement his schemes. Secondly, Prime Minister has also been encouraging younger faces as the delivery of their provinces is the most critical criterion. It is likely to send a positive signal to the other poll-bound states like Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. (IPA Service)

- Advertisement -
The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -