Bhopal, May 26 (IANS) The sudden meeting of Union Ministers Prahlad Patel and Narendra Singh Tomar, accompanied by BJP’s national General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and then, between senior state leaders has given rise to speculation of some changes in Madhya Pradesh BJP unit.
A social media post by Patel, hours after meeting CM Chouhan on Wednesday night, has further fuelled the rumours.
“I express my heartfelt gratitude to my old friends and elders CM Chouhan, Narendra Singh Tomar and Kailash Vijayvargiya, who gave me strength by using an old experiment to overcome this state of mind and activism. In times of struggle there was a feeling of mutual love and trust,” Patel posted on his official Twitter handle on Thursday, following which some social media users, including local media persons, started congratulating him for new role in the MP BJP.
If all that wasn’t enough, a closed-door meetings between state unit chief V.D. Sharma and Home Minister Narottam Mishra and then another one to one meeting between Chouhan and Mishra added fuel to the fire.
Subsequently, Chouhan, Mishra, Sharma, along with senior party leaders, including state in-charge Murlidhar Rao, BJP’s national Secretary, Organisation, Shiv Prakash and state Secretary, Organisation, Hitanand Sharma held a closed-door meeting at party headquarters that ended after one and a half hours.
The series of meetings assumed significance, particularly in the wake of rising discontent among party cadres, vented recently by veteran leaders, including former MLAs Satyanarayan Sattan, Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat, Deepak Joshi (who joined the Congress later), Harenderjeet Singh Babbu and Dhruv Pratap Singh, besides first-time MP from Guna seat Dr KP Singh Yadav.
Since Thursday evening, the political circles were abuzz with speculation whether any of the three senior leaders – Union Ministers Tomar (who was state BJP President some years back), and Patel, or Vijayvargiya, could replace Sharma amid rising discontent among party elders against present state party leadership.
According to party sources, Vijayvargiya is likely to attend a key organisational meeting of the party in Bhopal late on Friday night, while Chouhan will fly on a two-day trip to Delhi.
While state party leaders, including state party media convener Ashish Agrawal termed the speculations of change of state BJP chief as baseless, opposition Congress’s state spokesperson K.K. Mishra claimed that the BJP cannot buck the rising anti-incumbency of 18 years against it and its government, by changing the state party chief or even the face of the government.
Meanwhile, at least two senior BJP insiders told IANS that the central leadership knows it well that any change in state party leadership or even remotest possibility of change in government’s face might prove suicidal for party’s already sagging prospects five months ahead of polls.
They, however, added that any of the three senior party leaders, may well be given an additional responsibility of poll management through constitution of some body in the state.