High-stakes battle for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh veterans

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Chouhan fancies chances of retaining his post for the fifth time in a row

Bhopal: The just-concluded assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, results of which are set to be declared on Sunday, may decide the political futures of many heavyweights in BJP and Congress in the two states.

The poll outcome may prove crucial particularly for four veteran leaders of Central India, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Kamal Nath, both of Madhya Pradesh, and Dr Raman Singh and T S Singh Deo, both of Chhattisgarh, as a loss or victory for their parties is billed to determine their future political course.

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Chouhan fancies chances of retaining his post for the fifth time in a row if BJP romps home in the November 17 assembly elections.

Mr Chouhan who is all set to retain his assembly constituency of Budhni ‘comfortably’ in the polls may find him at the crossroads of his political career if his party loses power in the state.

The poll outcome may prove very crucial for Madhya Pradesh Congress president and former chief minister Kamal Nath, who has been projected as the chief ministerial candidate by his party, since a loss for his party, if it happens, may spell an uncertain political future for him.

A veteran of five Lok Sabha and two assembly elections, the 76-year-old Congress leader may find himself in a situation where he will be constrained to take a call as to whether to stay in Madhya Pradesh politics or return to the Central politics, if the grand old party fails to stage a comeback in the state in the polls.

After the fall of his government in March 2020, Mr Nath was divested of the post of Congress Legislature Party (CLP), he had held along with the charges of the party in the state.

Pressure may mount on him by his detractors in the party to give way for a young leader in his current post, if Congress loses the polls in the state, a senior party functionary said.

Similarly, the poll outcome in Madhya Pradesh may decide the political futures of three Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Prallhad Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste who were fielded in the elections by BJP.

Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Dr Raman Singh may join the race for the post of chief minister if BJP wins polls in Chhattisgarh. However, an uncertain political future stared at him if BJP loses the elections.

For Chhattisgarh deputy chief minister T S Singh Deo, the 2023 assembly polls may prove to be a high or low point in his political career.

The scion of Surguja royal family Mr Singh Deo who has a running feud with Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel over ‘denial’ of the opportunity to replace the latter in the post as per a purported rotational CM agreement between them, hopes to realise his dream of becoming chief minister if Congress retains power in Chhattisgarh.

“This is my last election and obviously, one aspires for the post of chief minister”, has been his constant refrain.

Mr Baghel is most likely to retain his post if Congress retains power in the state for being a ‘powerful’ OBC leader.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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