Bhajanlal Sharma the surprise choice as Rajasthan’s New Chief Minister in BJP’s Reshuffle of Heartland Leadership. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has once again taken a surprise turn by introducing fresh faces for key positions in the heartland states it commands. In a move that has caught many off guard, Bhajanlal Sharma has been named the new Chief Minister of Rajasthan. What’s notable is that Sharma, a first-time MLA from Sanganer, represents a shift from conventional choices for the top job in the state.
Hailing from Bharatpur, Sharma’s allocation to Sanganer came as a deviation from his native region due to the seat’s perceived lack of winnability for upper castes. This move underlines the BJP’s calculated strategy to secure positions in areas deemed more electorally advantageous.
Chhattisgarh’s new Chief Minister, Vishnu Deo Sai, brings a wealth of experience, having served as a state BJP chief, a Union Minister of State, and a member of the BJP national working committee. Meanwhile, replacing Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh is Mohan Yadav, a three-time MLA and former state minister.
Bhajanlal Sharma‘s appointment is accompanied by the selection of two deputies: Diya Kumari, known as the “People’s princess” and a contender for the top post, and seasoned leader Prem Chand Bairwa.
In stark contrast to Vasundhara Raje, who led the state for three terms, Sharma, aged 56, emerges from a different background. Initially affiliated with the ABVP, the student wing of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Sharma has maintained a low profile despite his role as a state general secretary of the party. His organizational approach sets him apart from Raje, who was often seen in disagreement with the party’s top echelons.
The selection of a Brahmin face like Bhajanlal Sharma is perceived as a safe choice in Rajasthan, a state where Rajputs and Jats wield considerable influence. However, this move also carries the risk of potential reverse polarization, a concern the BJP aims to navigate ahead of next year’s general elections.
Caste Dynamics at Play: Bhajanlal Sharma’s Appointment as Rajasthan CM Raises Eyebrows
The party’s meticulous consideration of caste and class dynamics in the heartland states mirrors its strategic positioning in anticipation of the upcoming elections. There had been speculation regarding the sidelining of Vasundhara Raje, akin to the replacements witnessed in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where veteran leaders were replaced.
Interestingly, mirroring the scenario in Madhya Pradesh, it was Vasundhara Raje who proposed Sharma’s name at the legislature party meeting, supported by state leaders Kirori Meena, Madan Dilawar, and Jawar Singh. However, this display of unity among senior leaders has only served to intensify public scrutiny and speculation, particularly surrounding the future role of these influential figures.