OBC leader Dr Mohan Yadav, who was higher education minister in the outgoing Shivraj Singh Chowhan government, was on Monday named the new chief minister of Madhya Pradesh after he was elected leader of the BJP Legislature Party.
Mr Yadav replaces Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been the chief minister of the state since 2005 and holds the records of being the longest-serving BJP CM in India and the longest serving CM of MP.
In a decision that could surprise many, Mohan Yadav’s name was announced after the BJP Central Observers held a meeting with the 163 BJP MLAs in Bhopal in the evening. The observers, including Haryana CM M L Khattar, BJP OBC Wing national president K Laxman and BJP national secretary Asha Lakda, arrived in Bhopal on Monday afternoon.
Sources said Shivraj Singh Chouhan proposed Mohan Yadav’s name.
The party also announced that Dimni MLA and former Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar would be the Assembly speaker. Besides, Jagdish Devda and Rajendra Shukla have been named the two deputy chief ministers.
By appointing Yadav the CM, the BJP has continued the 20-year-long tradition of having an OBC CM in MP. He is the fourth consecutive CM from the OBC and belongs to the Yadav caste. Beginning with Uma Bharti, a Lodhi, in 2003 then Babulal Gaur, a Yadav, in 2004 and then Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a Kirar, since 2005, the BJP has had only OBC CMs in MP.
Madhya Pradesh has around 48 per cent OBC population and an identical percentage of OBC voters too.
Born on 25 March 1965 at Ujjain, 58-year-old Mohan Yadav is a MLA from the Ujjain (South) assembly constituency. In the previous BJP government, he was the minister for Higher Education under Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Mr Yadav has won from the assembly seat twice consecutively in 2013 and 2018. He is closely linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and has been a dedicated BJP worker.
With the BJP convincingly winning the assembly battle in Madhya Pradesh this year, the first, and the biggest, challenge for ‘Captain’ Yadav would be to successfully steer HMS-MP to victory in the 2014 Lok Sabha war too.
The task for Mohan Yadav would be to not just register the BJP victory in the Lok Sabha polls in MP but to ensure that the saffron party sweeps all the 29 Lok Sabha seats of the state and seals a third term as PM for Narendra Modi.
Currently, the BJP has 28 seats, with the sole exception of Chhindwara from where MP Congress Chief Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath is the Congress Lok Sabha member. This is the first time that party took so long in deciding the CM in MP. It took the saffron party 8 days to come to a decision, after the assembly poll results were announced on 3 December. As expected, the decision has surprised many.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Prahlad Singh Patel, Narendra Singh Tomar, V D Sharma, Kaliash Vijaywargiya and Jyotiraditya Scindia were being considered as the main contenders for the coveted post till today evening.