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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, August 23: Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah is spoken of within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to have long entertained the idea of grooming alternative leadership in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

In Chhattisgarh, the people of the state helped the BJP to decisively look beyond the former Chief Minister Raman Singh.

The BJP top brass remains without clues to find the way out of the Vasundhara Raje maze in Rajasthan.

But the BJP lapped the Gwalior-Guna face of Congress Jyotiraditya Scindia in its bid to wrest the power back from the Kamal Nath government after the 2018 MP Assembly elections.

Scindia is seen within the BJP ranks to have seized the opportunity to throw the baggage of ‘Maharaja’ to fit into the saffron outfit’s election machinery. He has been seen in action in the BJP’s foremost battleground West Bengal where the party is highly selective in sending the Central leaders.

Having come out with flying colours in loyalty test, Scindia has given the BJP a deep anchor to steady the party’s ship in the turbulent waters of MP.

“The Scindia factor allows the BJP the comfort to think over the shoulder of the incumbent Chief Minister Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” said a senior BJP functionary.

Shah wants all 29 Lok Sabha seats from MP in the BJP’s 2024 bag. For him, sources said, Chouhan cannot deliver the perfect electoral score chart.

Those who have closely watched Shah since his days of helming the BJP claim that the Home Minister would have wanted Narendra Singh Tomar-Shivraj Singh Chouhan swap, each shuffling between New Delhi and Bhopal.

But that was a few years ago, and since then Tomar has proven to be a disappointment after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to come to television to take back the contentious farm laws. That, the BJP leaders observed, should work as sizing up Tomar not good enough to be the chief minister of a large state.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had been an ace up the sleeves of the BJP in its electoral march and backroom strategy making and their executions. Sarma has effortlessly slipped into the role of a Hindu hawk. He is the BJP’s foremost flagbearer in the North-east.

Additionally, the BJP appears to have opened its doors for the political leaders from the non-RSS backgrounds to its top decision making bodies and coveted positions such as that of the President and the Vice President of the country.

“Scindia can help kill whatever remains of Congress in MP if he is made the chief minister of the state, and the chances just look bright, while the decision may be about timing only. With him, the BJP will also aim for gains in Rajasthan,” said another senior BJP functionary.

The MP Minister Narottam Mishra, who has been heavily utilized in the electioneering in Uttar Pradesh, remains a close confidante of Shah. That gives the BJP options in MP.

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