Results of assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana came out on Sunday. Of the four states that went to polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won with a comfortable majority in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The Congress, on the other hand, dethroned the K Chandrashekar Rao-led Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government in Telangana.
Assembly elections 2023 results at a glance
Rajasthan: Vasundhara Raje, Mahant Balak Nath or Diya Kumari?
The buck of 'Who will become Rajasthan's next Chief Minister' is revolving around four names at present. Two-time CM Vasundhara Raje, controversial seer Mahant Balak Nath, Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat are the top four names in fray for the top post in Rajasthan.
The two-time Chief Minister bagged the Jhalrapatan seat by 53,193 votes ahead of Congress' Ramlal. Vasundhara Raje is hailed as the first woman CM of Rajasthan and has been the BJP's face in the state for more than two decades.
As per media reports, the BJP is not very keen on Raje having a third tenure as the Chief Minister. She, however, is still seen in Rajasthan as someone who challenged patriarchal norms and led a public and private life on her own terms.
Another name that can be considered for the top job in Rajasthan is that of Gayatri Devi's granddaughter and Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari. Previously, she was an MP from Sawai Madhopur. She is known for social work and was initially considered as an outsider in Sawai Madhopur.
Diya Kumari, however, gained popularity in the constituency due to developmental work. She hails from the Rajput community. If the BJP wants to go the Yogi Adityanath route in Rajasthan, then Baba Balak Nath stands a chance. Balak Nath is a Lok Sabha MP from Alwar but has contested from the Tijara seat instead.
He is also hailed as the 'Yogi of Rajasthan' and heads the Baba Mastnath Math in Rohtak. The Math runs a university, hospital, medical college and a school among other key institutions. Baba Balak Nath hails from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
Moving away from the firebrand options, the BJP can also appoint Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat, who was elected as a Lok Sabha MP from Jodhpur, is being seen as a strong contendor for the CM post. During the election campaign, Shekhawat was mired in a public spat with former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot over the Sanjivani Credit Cooperative Society Scam.
Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Kailash Vijayvargiya or Jyotiraditya Scindia?
The BJP won Madhya Pradesh on Sunday with a thumping majority but did not declare who will lead the state critical to ensuring victory in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Among the probable names for the CM post being tossed around are Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Kailash Vijayvargiya and Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the longest serving Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as of now. Chouhan, also hailed as Mama by the electorate, contested the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2023 from Budhni, his stronghold since 2006.
The BJP's win in MP can be attributed to welfare schemes such as Ladli Behna and CM Kisan Nidhis initiated by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government. But the clout held by Jyotiraditya Scindia in the state, especially in the Gwalior-Chambal belt, cannot be sidelined either.
Scindia has actively campaigned in the state. He, however, has maintained that he is not interested in the Chief Minister post. Kailash Vijayvargiya's name is also doing the rounds for Madhya Pradesh CM post. The six-time MP has never lost an assembly election and has been a state government cabinet for more than 12 years.
He was in charge of BJP's Haryana election campaign in 2014 wherein the saffron party gained a majority in the assembly election. Soon after this feat, he was appointed as the BJP national general secretary by Amit Shah in 2015 and the new BJP leader in West Bengal.
Chhattisgarh: Raman Singh or Arun Sao?
In Chhattisgarh, the BJP is stuck in a conundrum of whether to give Raman Singh his fourth term as Chhattisgarh CM or to make a change. The possibility of Raman Singh being given the fourth term as the CM cannot be ruled out as he is known for his organisational abilities and implementation of programmes aimed at improving the conditions of SCs and STs in Chhattisgarh.
Singh has been a member of the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly since 2004 and also served as a Minister of State in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government in 1999. He was also appointed the National Vice President of the BJP in 2018.
If the BJP wants a change, it is also likely to pick state BJP chief Arun Sao for the top job. Sao can be considered if the BJP is looking for an OBC face to become the Chhattisgarh CM.
He has represented the Bilaspur Lok Sabha constituency for 3 consecutive terms so far and has strong influence among OBCs. Others who could be considered are Member of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh, former BJP state chief Vishnu Deo Sai and Ramvichar Netam.
Telangana: Revanth Reddy or Uttam Kumar Reddy?
After defeating the KCR-led BRS comprehensively, the Congress is now faced with the dilemma of 'Who will become the Chief Minister of Telangana'. Three top Congress leaders are in the fray to win the top job in Telangana-- Revanth Reddy, Uttam Kumar Reddy, and Bhatti Vikramarka Mallu.
As the Telangana Congress chief, 54-year-old Revanth Reddy has been instrumental in leading his party to victory in the southern state. After being appointed as Telangana Congress chief, he was seen on ground leading protest on several issues against the BRS government.
Another candidate that the Congress could consider for the top job is former Telangana Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy. He was replaced by Revanth Reddy as the Telangana Congress chief. Despite this, Uttam Kumar Reddy is massively popular among party workers in the state.
Reddy is a former Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot and a Lok Sabha MP from the Nalgonda Constituency. He served as the MLA from Kodad between 1999 and 2009 and from Huzurnagar between 2009 and 2019.