MP bypoll results likely to delay change of guard in state

by IANS |

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh bypoll results came as a breather for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan amid strong speculation of a change of guard in the state. Many senior BJP leaders believe that Madhya Pradesh bypoll results are now likely to delay any possible leadership change in the state government, at least for some time.

Retaining Khandwa Lok sabha and winning two assembly constituencies out of three has consolidated Chief Minister Chouhan's position in the party and in the state.

Sources in the saffron party said that after favourable results in bypolls, Chouhan will not be removed immediately as he worked hard and delivered. "Chief Minister Chouhan is undoubtedly the most popular leader or face of BJP in Madhya Pradesh. Chouhan, knowing that the bypolls will be crucial and will play decisive role for his continuation as the chief minister, put extra efforts in these constituencies. And results show his popularity and hard work," they said.

A senior party functionary said that the bypoll results have extended the term of the Chief Minister when there was strong buzz of his removal after the party replaced Tirath Singh Rawat in Uttarakhand and Vijay Rupani in Gujarat.

"It seems that no change of guard in the Madhya Pradesh government is going to take place soon," he said.

The BJP has won two out of three Assembly constituencies and the lone Khandwa Lok Sabha seat in state which went for bypolls on October 30 and counting of votes took place on November 2.

The BJP won Prithvipur and Jobat assembly constituencies, both Congress strongholds. The Congress, however, managed to win Raigaon, a BJP stronghold. Winning Jobat, which have around 90 per cent tribal population, gave a boost to BJP's massive outreach programme aiming to bring Dalit and tribal people closer to the party before 2023 assembly elections.

Chief minister Chouhan addressed over three dozen rallies in these three assembly and one Lok Sabha constituencies where bypolls were held. He held maximum eight in Prithvipur and minimum five public meetings in Jobat. He also held 17 rallies in eight assembly seats in the Khandwa Lok Sabha constituency.

Another senior party functionary claims that it will be the biggest folly of the BJP to replace Chouhan being so popular with the masses. "There are many big leaders in the state but no one matches the popularity of the chief minister," he said.

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