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OpinionsWhy MoSha Picked B L Sharma As Rajasthan CM

Why MoSha Picked B L Sharma As Rajasthan CM



The BJP has played the social engineering card in Rajasthan with an eye on the Lok Sabha election where the party will try and retain all the 25 seats that it had won in the 2014 and 2019 elections.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023, was Margsheersh Krishna Paksh Amavasya day, according to the Hindu Panchang, which is not considered an auspicious day.

But it turned out to be a fortunate day for Bhajan Lal Sharma.

Sharma, 55, was standing in the sixth row when photographs of the Bharatiya Janata Party's newly elected MLAs in Rajasthan was being taken that day.

A few hours earlier, Sharma, the BJP's general secretary (organisation), was seen making arrangements for the meeting where the party's central observers — Minister Rajnath Singh, Saroj Pande, a Rajya Sabha MP, and BJP General Secretary Vinod Tawde — were to announce the new chief minister's name.

The meeting, which lasted only 14 minutes, saw a surprised Vasundhara Raje, the former chief minister and a strong aspirant to become CM for a third time, being asked by Rajnath Singh to announce Sharma's name.

Vasundhara Raje had unsuccessfully lobbied for the post with the party's central leadership in the week after the election results were announced. Vasundhara Raje was offered the assembly speakership, which she refused.

The party's top leadership — Narendra D Modi and Amit A Shah — played the social engineering card by nominating Sharma for the Rajasthan CM's post.

After nominating Mohan Yadav (Madhya Pradesh), an OBC, and Vishnu Deo Sai (Chhattisgarh), a tribal, the party nominated Sharma, a Vipra Brahmin, to preside over the destiny of Rajasthan.

He is Rajasthan's second Brahmin chief minister after Harideo Joshi of the Congress, who was chief minister 33 years ago.

He is the second chief minister from Bharatpur district; the first was Congressman Jaganath Pahadia, a Dalit, who was appointed CM 43 years ago.

Bhajan Lal Sharma, a native of Bharatpur district, contested the 2023 election from Sanganer, an assembly segment in Jaipur and won by over 40,000 votes.

Nobody gave him a chance against the Congress candidate, Pushpendra Bhardwaj. He was considered the weakest BJP candidate fielded by the BJP in Jaipur.

But Sharma not only won, but also annexed the top post.

Like Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Sharma's political origins are in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He was later drafted into the BJP and served as the party's general secretary in Rajasthan four times. He was once elected to the gram panchayat as sarpanch from his village Attari.

Sharma had once sought the BJP nomination to contest the Nadbai Vidhan Sabha seat in Bharatpur district, but was denied. He then contested the election under the banner of the Samajik Nyaya Manch, but lost his deposit.

Sharma grew close to BJP President J P Nadda during the 2019 Lok Sabha election when the party deputed him to work in West Bengal.

A partner in a family on agricultural tools, Sharma lives in a three-room flat in Jaipur with wife Geeta and two sons.

The elder son, Ashish, a doctor, is preparing for the civil services examination. The younger son, Kunal, is also a doctor.

The party ignored the claims of Vasundhara Raje and discounted the speculation about Union Ministers Ashvini Vaishnav, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Arjun Meghwal being appointed CM.

Diya Kumari, 52, who was also tipped as a chief ministerial candidate, was selected as one of two deputy chief ministers along with Prem Chand Berwa, 49, a dalit leader, who is also from Jaipur district.

Thus, the top three positions in the state cabinet went to Jaipur.

The BJP has played the social engineering card in Rajasthan with an eye on the Lok Sabha election where the party will try and retain all the 25 seats that it had won in the 2014 and 2019 elections.

By its choices, the party's top leadership has given a signal that leaves no scope for senior leaders like Vasundhara Raje and Dr Kirori Lal Meena.

The BJP leadership picked Vasudev Devnani, 74, as speaker — the first time the top leaders decided who would be the speaker, making it clear that it would have a say in all appointments.

It is likely that the central leadership will also decide who Bhajan Lal Sharma's ministers will be.

Vasundhara Raje's supporters believe she could be fielded from Jhalawar in the Lok Sabha election, a constituency currently represented by her son Dushyant Singh. Should that happen, Dushyant Singh will move to Rajasthan politics.




The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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