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BJP’s MP panel bid to balance caste equations

Satyaprakash Sharma | Gwalior |

The election campaign committee set up by the BJP in Madhya Pradesh under the leadership of Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar ahead of Assembly elections slated for the year-end is a deft attempt at balancing caste equations in the state.

Apart from Tomar, who is also the MP from Gwalior, state minister for public relations Narottam Mishra, minister of state for SC/ST welfare department Lal Singh Arya and MP from Mandala and former Union minister Phaggan Singh Kulaste have been made co-convenors of the committee.

Tomar belongs to the Rajput community, while Narottam Mishra, Phaggan Singh Kulaste and Lal Singh come from the Brahmin, Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste communities respectively.

Tomar, Mishra and Arya belong to the Gwalior-Chambal region, which is considered the bastion of the Scindias. There is every likelihood that the Congress will project Jyotiraditya Scindia as the party’s chief ministerial face. Kulaste is a well-known tribal leader.

The BJP has not constituted an election campaign commitee since 2003 when Union minister Uma Bharti headed it. Veteran leader Kailash Joshi was the state BJP chief then.

After a sweeping victory in the Assembly polls then, Uma Bharti was named chief minister. Nominating Tomar as chief of the election committee, according to sources, is an indication that he may be named CM if the BJP wins again.

“BJP will be victorious for a fourth time in the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and party chief Rakesh Singh. Rakesh Singh is a senior and experienced leader, we will contest elections together,” Tomar said here.

Sources said Chouhan had wanted Tomar to take over as state president but he was not ready to quit as Union minister. Tomar is believed to be lucky for Chouhan and the CM ensured that he was made chief of the election campaign committee, the sources added.