Eye on 2019 polls, BJP moves ex-CMs Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, Vasundhara Raje to central leadership

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New Delhi | Published: January 11, 2019 12:45:14 PM

The announcement came after the party suffered heavy losses in recent elections, losing three crucial states to Congress ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections

Stung by the losses in three Hindi-heartland states in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party has apponited the former Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to key roles in the organisation, indicating that these leaders could play a major role in the general elections. BJP president announced on Thursday that Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh have been appointed as BJP national vice presidents.

The appointment of the three leaders from states where the party suffered shock defeats to key roles in the party suggests two things. First, that the party has put a great stock in the three leaders and they will be playing a crucial role in the Lok Sabha elections. Second, the BJP is looking to cultivate a rung of young leaders in these states.

Post the election loss, former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan had expressed that he has no aspirations for a national role and was happy to live in his home state to serve its people. Chouhan served as the chief minister of MP for three consecutive terms and was popularly known as “Mamaji” within the masses.

Congress was able to snatch three Hindi heartland states from the saffron party, a development seen as a severe blow to the party which is ruling at the Centre after a thumping victory in 2014 general elections. The Congress-led government in the states saw Kamal Nath being appointed the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh while Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel were instated as Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, respectively.

The move by the saffron party to appoint the three BJP leaders as vice presidents was made after the Congress appointed former Chief Minister Sheila Dixit as the state Congress chief of Delhi. With less than 100 days remaining for the Lok Sabha elections, Dikshit, 80, has her work cut out for her.

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