Modi-led BJP conducts surgical strikes against regional satraps

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Gujarat model is merciless to the claims of the party leaders of winning elections for several terms, and accords premium to those who are in the 50s in the age group.

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, December 13: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now has made the Gujarat model of phasing out known faces a new normal. The established regional satraps in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan got a taste of the Gujarat model of the BJP.

Under the clear imprints of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP eased out known names from the spotlight in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. The likes of regional satraps – Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Vasundhara Raje, and Raman Singh – got the taste of the way Vijay Rupani in a sudden wing of fortune was replaced by the first-term MLA Bhupendr Patel. A month ago, Raghubar Das was also eased out of active politics from Jharkhand even while he is only 64 years old.

Evidently, Modi-led BJP by announcing Bhajan Lal Sharma as the next chief minister of Rajasthan has brought the Gujarat model to other states. This model is merciless to the claims of the party leaders of winning elections for several terms, and accords premium to those who are in the 50s in the age group. This model also gives premium to those who don’t hog the media limelight. If such leaders have organizational stints, they get the rewards.

Now political observers belive that the BJP doesn’t have space for big state leaders. Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan was visibly stunned after seeing the name of Bhajan Lal Sharma in the chit handed over to her by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. She looked visibly upset.

Political observers admit that she was made to propose the name of Bhajan Lal Sharma. On her own, she would have not chosen Bhajan Lal Sharma as leader of the legislative party of the BJP in Rajasthan. Also, it appears that the claims of the BJP that the party held consultations with the senior leaders in choosing the chief minister in states are only for the public consumption. Had it been the case, Vasundhara Raje would not have looked stunned.

Political observers also admit that Vasundhara Raje will not be left with any active role in the BJP. She is vice president of the BJP. But it is widely known that she hardly attends to the office of the vice president of the party. The BJP observers say that the post of vice president is decorative in nature. At 64 years of age, Shivraj Singh Chauhan is now staring at an uncertain political future. There is least likelihood of him getting a rehabilitation at the Centre soon. He may be made the BJP vice president to give him an honourable space among the party leaders who are phased out from active politics by the BJP. Raman Singh has been lucky that he got to become Speaker of the Chhattisgarh Assembly for keeping a low profile and showing no signs of indignation at the decision of the central leadership to anoint a new face as the chief minister in the state.

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