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Shivraj Chouhan's Era Ends in MP: Why Did Modi Replace Him With Mohan Yadav?

Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?

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(This story was first published on 16 November. It has been modified in light of later developments)

Shivraj Singh Chouhan's rein in Madhya Pradesh has come to an end, despite spearheading his party to a spectacular victory in the recently concluded Assembly elections in the state.

The BJP top leadership - PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party president Jagat Prakash Nadda - have decided to replace him with low profile Ujjain South MLA Mohan Yadav.

  • Why did the BJP choose to replace Shivraj Chouhan?

  • What next for him?

This piece will try to answer both these questions.

To understand these questions, it is important to understand the complex equation he shares with PM Modi.

PM Modi and CM Chouhan are among the most electorally successful politicians from the BJP. While Modi has been the party's longest serving Prime Minister, Chouhan has been the longest serving chief minister from the BJP.

Both are OBCs from a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background but they have contrasting political styles. While Modi has acquired a larger-than-life image, Chouhan has cultivated an image of being the humble and accessible Mamaji (maternal uncle).

It is difficult to characterise the exact equation between the two leaders. There has been no hostility between them. However, it is true that Shivraj Chouhan's fortunes have witnessed a decline since Modi became the PM and his being denied the CM post is a culmination of this decline.

Shivraj Chouhan's Era Ends in MP: Why Did Modi Replace Him With Mohan Yadav?

  1. 1. MLA at 31, MP at 32 and CM at 46 Years, How Luck Favoured Shivraj Chouhan

    "Good luck doesn't last forever. Sooner or later your luck is bound to run out. This is what has happened to Shivraj Singh Chouhan," a former officer-bearer of the Madhya Pradesh BJP told The Quint.

    Though always known to be a diligent and hard-working politician, luck and being at the right place at the right time have been major factors in Chouhan's political journey.

    Chouhan joined politics during his school days itself, first as a leader in his school students' union and then during the anti-Emergency protests. He rose through the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and became an MLA from Budhni in the BJP wave of 1990.

    He shot into prominence later that year by organising protests against then Prime Minister VP Singh during the latter's visit to Bhopal. VP Singh's push for OBC reservations had also compelled the BJP to promote more OBC faces, like Chouhan, who belongs to the OBC Kirar community.

    Chouhan didn't have to wait long for his next break. In the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee contested from two seats - Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. After winning both, Vajpayee vacated Vidisha. The BJP fielded Chouhan in the by-election, which he won comfortably, becoming an MP at just 32.

    His win wasn't surprising as Vidisha has been a strong pro-Hindutva seat since the days of BJP's precursor, Jan Sangh, which won from here in 1967 and 1971.

    He won the seat again in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004. In 2003, the BJP led by firebrand leader Uma Bharti, stormed to power in MP. But less than a year later, an arrest warrant was issued against her in a 1994 rioting case in Karnataka's Hubbali.

    This led to her resignation as MP CM.

    She was replaced by veteran leader Babulal Gaur but the arrangement didn't quite work out and Gaur was replaced by Chouhan in 2005.

    Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?

    Bhopal: Bjp leader Uma Bharti address a Press confrence in Bhopal on November 11, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

    Luck had once again worked in favour of Chouhan.

    Meanwhile, Bharti's equation in the party worsened rapidly. She had a public spat with LK Advani and was suspended from the party. After ignoring repeated show-cause notices, she was expelled from the BJP. She formed the Bharatiya Janshakti Party in 2006. Though it damaged the BJP a bit in the 2008 elections, she couldn't prevent Chouhan from returning to power.

    All these developments made Chouhan the undisputed face of the BJP in MP.

    Expand
  2. 2. Chouhan Gains Admirers Outside BJP, Makes Enemies Within

    Uma Bharti was brought back to the party in 2011 but Chouhan was given an assurance that she would keep clear of MP politics. Instead she was made BJP's face in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, one of the BJP's worst performances in the state in over two decades.

    At that time, Chouhan was, in many ways, at the peak of his influence.

    A boost in agricultural productivity and effective welfare schemes had consolidated his popularity in MP.

    Not just within the BJP, even opponents acknowledged the MP CM's abilities.

    For instance, during drafting the Land Acquisition Bill, then rural development minister Jairam Ramesh took inputs from Chouhan though there was no requirement to consult states. In a gesture of bipartisanship, Ramesh even called the amendments as 'Shivraj Chouhan amendments' while presenting the Bill in Parliament.

    Politically, however, Chouhan made more than his share of enemies, especially within his own party.

    Uma Bharti, though shunted out of the state, continued to nurse a grudge. But Chouhan's bigger threats were his own contemporaries in the MP BJP. His differences with the then state unit chief Prabhat Jha were well known and eventually led to the latter being shifted to Delhi.

    Kailash Vijayvargiya is alleged to have held private confabulations with Chouhan's detractors. There were even rumours that some of them privately referred to him as 'Gabbar Singh'.

    Prahlad Singh Patel and Narottam Mishra have been two other opponents of Chouhan in the MP BJP.

    Expand
  3. 3. Skullcaps, Tablighi Jamaat and the Making of an 'Inclusive' BJP CM

    At least during his first ten years as CM, Chouhan was seen as a comparatively more inclusive BJP leader when it came to relations with Muslims.

    Unlike Modi who as Gujarat CM refused to wear a skull-cap presented to him by a Muslim, Chouhan was seen attending Muslim functions wearing a skull-cap. The below picture is from Eid-ul-Fitr in 2013.

    Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?

    Shivraj Chouhan wears a skullcap during Eid in 2013. 

    (Photo: PTI)

    In 2010, the Tablighi Jamaat praised Chouhan for his government's help in the organisation of their annual Ijtema (congregation). Chouhan is said to have personally visited the venue to supervise the arrangements.

    In 2012, Chouhan's government even gave a half-day holiday for Muslim government employees in Bhopal so that they could participate in the "Dua" at the end of the Ijtema.

    Several of Chouhan's schemes made it a point to factor in Muslims, such as the Kanya Vivah Evam Nikah Yojana giving women cash during marriage. The state government's Teerth Darshan Yojana also included Ajmer Sharif.

    It is due to Chouhan's approach, that the BJP secured 16 percent of Muslim votes (CSDS data), in the 2018 Assembly elections, the highest proportion for the party in any state.

    Expand
  4. 4. How LK Advani and Uma Bharti Pitted Shivraj Chouhan Against Narendra Modi

    What complicated Chouhan's equation with Modi was the manner in which he was pitted by others against the latter in 2013, when the Gujarat CM was on the ascendant.

    In June 2013, BJP patriarch LK Advani pitched Chouhan against Modi by saying that the latter "inherited a developed state" while the MP CM "had to work a lot harder to remove the state's underdeveloped status".

    Earlier that year, Advani reportedly tried to get Chouhan included in the BJP's Parliamentary board, an effort that is said to have been prevented by Modi and then BJP president Rajnath Singh.

    Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah during the funeral ceremony of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, at Lodhi crematorium in New Delhi. (Right to left)
    (Photo: PTI)

    Another controversy took place in August 2013 when Bollywood actor Raza Murad in Chouhan's presence, took a dig at then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for not being "inclusive" and asked him to learn from the MP CM. He praised Chouhan for wearing a skullcap while greeting Muslims on Eid.

    The issue would have died down but Uma Bharti, Chouhan's old detractor, used it to get back at the MP CM and pit him against Modi.

    “I am really hurt that a C-grade actor standing beside the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister poked fun at Narendra Modi. I am surprised as to how this happened," she had said, also criticising Chouhan for wearing a skullcap.

    The in the 2013 Assembly elections, a few months after this incident, Chouhan reportedly resisted Modi's advisors' intervention in his campaign, even refusing to include his name in publicity material.

    Sources close to Shivraj Chouhan say that it was never his intention to float his name as a possible PM candidate or even become a challenger to Modi.

    "I think all he (Chouhan) wanted was to ensure that he has a free hand in running Madhya Pradesh. That has always been his main priority," says a BJP MLA from MP on the condition of anonymity.

    "But he misjudged Modi and Amit Shah's way of functioning. No leader gets a free hand, be it Shivraj Chouhan or Vasundhara Raje or (BS) Yediyurappa," the leader added.

    Expand
  5. 5. How Modi as PM Changed Shivraj Chouhan's Fortunes

    After coming to power in 2014, PM Modi and Amit Shah began flattening the political landscape in the country, including within the BJP. Power centres were cut to size, many prominent leaders sidelined.

    Some of Chouhan's detractors gained prominence under Modi and Shah. Most notable among them was Kailash Vijayvargiya, who was made the BJP in-charge for the 2014 Haryana elections and later made general secretary of the party.

    Uma Bharti became a Union minister in 2014. Prabhat Jha's importance also increased. Then two other detractors, Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste became ministers in 2019.

    Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?
    BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya
    (Photo: PTI)

    The biggest blow to Chouhan came in 2018, when the BJP narrowly lost the Assembly elections to the Congress.

    Chouhan's supporters say that this was a stroke of bad luck as the BJP actually polled more votes than the Congress but won less seats.

    They also argue that some of the factors which contributed to the BJP's defeat, weren't in Chouhan's control - demonetisation and GST were both central decisions, dilution of the SC and ST (atrocities) Act was done by the Supreme Court, that upset SC/STs. The decision to go for a legislation overturning the changes was taken by the Centre and this upset dominant castes.

    Expand
  6. 6. What Next for Shivraj Chouhan?

    In 2019 Jyotiraditya Scindia and the MLAs loyal to him rebelled from the Congress and brought down the Kamal Nath government in the state. With BJP having a slender majority, the party high command was forced to go back to Shivraj Chouhan.

    But since Scindia's entry was almost entirely the Centre's doing, it was clear that Chouhan owed his new innings to Modi and Shah.

    Chouhan no longer enjoyed the same autonomy or even stature that he did in 2013.

    Despite being the senior-most CM, Chouhan's clout in the party became less than comparatively junior CMs like Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma.

    Chouhan has also tried to adapt to BJP's more ideologically hardline culture under Modi and Shah. His inclusive approach towards Muslims has been discarded. The affable 'Mama' has been replaced by 'Bulldozer Mama'. The same Tablighi Jamaat which praised Shivraj a decade ago found itself at the receiving end of his verbal attacks during the first COVID wave.

    Though Chouhan was present when Mohan Yadav's name was announced as the next CM and described the latter as a "hard working colleague", the BJP's move to replace him will no doubt come as a disappointment.

    Unlike Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, where the BJP didn't project a face, Chouhan was the unquestioned face of the BJP in MP. And the BJP's win would probably not have been as decisive had it not been for Chouhan's popularity and his pet schemes like Ladli Behna.

    Many of his supporters are likely to find the way he has been treated as unfair.

    However, Chouhan doesn't have too many options.

    Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?
    Ujjain: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being presented a memento by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, at the International Convention on Universal Message of Simhastha, in Ujjain on May 14, 2016. (Photo: IANS/PIB)
    History shows that no leader has succeeded in leaving BJP and carving out his or her own independent political space - be it Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Madanlal Khurana, Babulal Marandi or BS Yediyurappa.

    BJP leaders would either have had to join the Congress - like Navjot Sidhu or Nana Patole - or return back to the BJP.

    And Chouhan lives in a state where the BJP and RSS rank and file are deeply entrenched at the local level. Anyone who tries to rebel, isn't likely to have it easy.

    However, Chouhan does have some leverage due to the Lok Sabha elections due in less than six months. PM Modi and Amit Shah won't be able to afford any instability in MP, a state which gave them 28 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats.

    In all probability, Chouhan could be brought to the Union government and be given an important ministry. There is a precedent here.

    After the 2021 Assam elections, the BJP leadership replaced Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sarma even though Sonowal was a reasonably popular CM and had just helped deliver a win for the BJP

    But Sonowal was replaced and brought to the Centre as a minister. Shivraj could also face a similar fate. After the state elections, there are vacancies in the Jal Shakti and Agriculture ministeries with Prahlad Singh Patel and Narendra Singh Tomar resigning from their posts after becoming MLAs.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

MLA at 31, MP at 32 and CM at 46 Years, How Luck Favoured Shivraj Chouhan

"Good luck doesn't last forever. Sooner or later your luck is bound to run out. This is what has happened to Shivraj Singh Chouhan," a former officer-bearer of the Madhya Pradesh BJP told The Quint.

Though always known to be a diligent and hard-working politician, luck and being at the right place at the right time have been major factors in Chouhan's political journey.

Chouhan joined politics during his school days itself, first as a leader in his school students' union and then during the anti-Emergency protests. He rose through the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and became an MLA from Budhni in the BJP wave of 1990.

He shot into prominence later that year by organising protests against then Prime Minister VP Singh during the latter's visit to Bhopal. VP Singh's push for OBC reservations had also compelled the BJP to promote more OBC faces, like Chouhan, who belongs to the OBC Kirar community.

Chouhan didn't have to wait long for his next break. In the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee contested from two seats - Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. After winning both, Vajpayee vacated Vidisha. The BJP fielded Chouhan in the by-election, which he won comfortably, becoming an MP at just 32.

His win wasn't surprising as Vidisha has been a strong pro-Hindutva seat since the days of BJP's precursor, Jan Sangh, which won from here in 1967 and 1971.

He won the seat again in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004. In 2003, the BJP led by firebrand leader Uma Bharti, stormed to power in MP. But less than a year later, an arrest warrant was issued against her in a 1994 rioting case in Karnataka's Hubbali.

This led to her resignation as MP CM.

She was replaced by veteran leader Babulal Gaur but the arrangement didn't quite work out and Gaur was replaced by Chouhan in 2005.

Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?

Bhopal: Bjp leader Uma Bharti address a Press confrence in Bhopal on November 11, 2020. (Photo: IANS)

Luck had once again worked in favour of Chouhan.

Meanwhile, Bharti's equation in the party worsened rapidly. She had a public spat with LK Advani and was suspended from the party. After ignoring repeated show-cause notices, she was expelled from the BJP. She formed the Bharatiya Janshakti Party in 2006. Though it damaged the BJP a bit in the 2008 elections, she couldn't prevent Chouhan from returning to power.

All these developments made Chouhan the undisputed face of the BJP in MP.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Chouhan Gains Admirers Outside BJP, Makes Enemies Within

Uma Bharti was brought back to the party in 2011 but Chouhan was given an assurance that she would keep clear of MP politics. Instead she was made BJP's face in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, one of the BJP's worst performances in the state in over two decades.

At that time, Chouhan was, in many ways, at the peak of his influence.

A boost in agricultural productivity and effective welfare schemes had consolidated his popularity in MP.

Not just within the BJP, even opponents acknowledged the MP CM's abilities.

For instance, during drafting the Land Acquisition Bill, then rural development minister Jairam Ramesh took inputs from Chouhan though there was no requirement to consult states. In a gesture of bipartisanship, Ramesh even called the amendments as 'Shivraj Chouhan amendments' while presenting the Bill in Parliament.

Politically, however, Chouhan made more than his share of enemies, especially within his own party.

Uma Bharti, though shunted out of the state, continued to nurse a grudge. But Chouhan's bigger threats were his own contemporaries in the MP BJP. His differences with the then state unit chief Prabhat Jha were well known and eventually led to the latter being shifted to Delhi.

Kailash Vijayvargiya is alleged to have held private confabulations with Chouhan's detractors. There were even rumours that some of them privately referred to him as 'Gabbar Singh'.

Prahlad Singh Patel and Narottam Mishra have been two other opponents of Chouhan in the MP BJP.

0

Skullcaps, Tablighi Jamaat and the Making of an 'Inclusive' BJP CM

At least during his first ten years as CM, Chouhan was seen as a comparatively more inclusive BJP leader when it came to relations with Muslims.

Unlike Modi who as Gujarat CM refused to wear a skull-cap presented to him by a Muslim, Chouhan was seen attending Muslim functions wearing a skull-cap. The below picture is from Eid-ul-Fitr in 2013.

Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?

Shivraj Chouhan wears a skullcap during Eid in 2013. 

(Photo: PTI)

In 2010, the Tablighi Jamaat praised Chouhan for his government's help in the organisation of their annual Ijtema (congregation). Chouhan is said to have personally visited the venue to supervise the arrangements.

In 2012, Chouhan's government even gave a half-day holiday for Muslim government employees in Bhopal so that they could participate in the "Dua" at the end of the Ijtema.

Several of Chouhan's schemes made it a point to factor in Muslims, such as the Kanya Vivah Evam Nikah Yojana giving women cash during marriage. The state government's Teerth Darshan Yojana also included Ajmer Sharif.

It is due to Chouhan's approach, that the BJP secured 16 percent of Muslim votes (CSDS data), in the 2018 Assembly elections, the highest proportion for the party in any state.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

How LK Advani and Uma Bharti Pitted Shivraj Chouhan Against Narendra Modi

What complicated Chouhan's equation with Modi was the manner in which he was pitted by others against the latter in 2013, when the Gujarat CM was on the ascendant.

In June 2013, BJP patriarch LK Advani pitched Chouhan against Modi by saying that the latter "inherited a developed state" while the MP CM "had to work a lot harder to remove the state's underdeveloped status".

Earlier that year, Advani reportedly tried to get Chouhan included in the BJP's Parliamentary board, an effort that is said to have been prevented by Modi and then BJP president Rajnath Singh.

Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP leader LK Advani, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah during the funeral ceremony of former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, at Lodhi crematorium in New Delhi. (Right to left)
(Photo: PTI)

Another controversy took place in August 2013 when Bollywood actor Raza Murad in Chouhan's presence, took a dig at then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for not being "inclusive" and asked him to learn from the MP CM. He praised Chouhan for wearing a skullcap while greeting Muslims on Eid.

The issue would have died down but Uma Bharti, Chouhan's old detractor, used it to get back at the MP CM and pit him against Modi.

“I am really hurt that a C-grade actor standing beside the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister poked fun at Narendra Modi. I am surprised as to how this happened," she had said, also criticising Chouhan for wearing a skullcap.

The in the 2013 Assembly elections, a few months after this incident, Chouhan reportedly resisted Modi's advisors' intervention in his campaign, even refusing to include his name in publicity material.

Sources close to Shivraj Chouhan say that it was never his intention to float his name as a possible PM candidate or even become a challenger to Modi.

"I think all he (Chouhan) wanted was to ensure that he has a free hand in running Madhya Pradesh. That has always been his main priority," says a BJP MLA from MP on the condition of anonymity.

"But he misjudged Modi and Amit Shah's way of functioning. No leader gets a free hand, be it Shivraj Chouhan or Vasundhara Raje or (BS) Yediyurappa," the leader added.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

How Modi as PM Changed Shivraj Chouhan's Fortunes

After coming to power in 2014, PM Modi and Amit Shah began flattening the political landscape in the country, including within the BJP. Power centres were cut to size, many prominent leaders sidelined.

Some of Chouhan's detractors gained prominence under Modi and Shah. Most notable among them was Kailash Vijayvargiya, who was made the BJP in-charge for the 2014 Haryana elections and later made general secretary of the party.

Uma Bharti became a Union minister in 2014. Prabhat Jha's importance also increased. Then two other detractors, Prahlad Singh Patel and Faggan Singh Kulaste became ministers in 2019.

Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?
BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya
(Photo: PTI)

The biggest blow to Chouhan came in 2018, when the BJP narrowly lost the Assembly elections to the Congress.

Chouhan's supporters say that this was a stroke of bad luck as the BJP actually polled more votes than the Congress but won less seats.

They also argue that some of the factors which contributed to the BJP's defeat, weren't in Chouhan's control - demonetisation and GST were both central decisions, dilution of the SC and ST (atrocities) Act was done by the Supreme Court, that upset SC/STs. The decision to go for a legislation overturning the changes was taken by the Centre and this upset dominant castes.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

What Next for Shivraj Chouhan?

In 2019 Jyotiraditya Scindia and the MLAs loyal to him rebelled from the Congress and brought down the Kamal Nath government in the state. With BJP having a slender majority, the party high command was forced to go back to Shivraj Chouhan.

But since Scindia's entry was almost entirely the Centre's doing, it was clear that Chouhan owed his new innings to Modi and Shah.

Chouhan no longer enjoyed the same autonomy or even stature that he did in 2013.

Despite being the senior-most CM, Chouhan's clout in the party became less than comparatively junior CMs like Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Chouhan has also tried to adapt to BJP's more ideologically hardline culture under Modi and Shah. His inclusive approach towards Muslims has been discarded. The affable 'Mama' has been replaced by 'Bulldozer Mama'. The same Tablighi Jamaat which praised Shivraj a decade ago found itself at the receiving end of his verbal attacks during the first COVID wave.

Though Chouhan was present when Mohan Yadav's name was announced as the next CM and described the latter as a "hard working colleague", the BJP's move to replace him will no doubt come as a disappointment.

Unlike Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, where the BJP didn't project a face, Chouhan was the unquestioned face of the BJP in MP. And the BJP's win would probably not have been as decisive had it not been for Chouhan's popularity and his pet schemes like Ladli Behna.

Many of his supporters are likely to find the way he has been treated as unfair.

However, Chouhan doesn't have too many options.

Mohan Yadav is set to be the new chief minister. How did Shivraj Singh Chouhan's luck run out with Modi's rise?
Ujjain: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being presented a memento by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, at the International Convention on Universal Message of Simhastha, in Ujjain on May 14, 2016. (Photo: IANS/PIB)
History shows that no leader has succeeded in leaving BJP and carving out his or her own independent political space - be it Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Madanlal Khurana, Babulal Marandi or BS Yediyurappa.

BJP leaders would either have had to join the Congress - like Navjot Sidhu or Nana Patole - or return back to the BJP.

And Chouhan lives in a state where the BJP and RSS rank and file are deeply entrenched at the local level. Anyone who tries to rebel, isn't likely to have it easy.

However, Chouhan does have some leverage due to the Lok Sabha elections due in less than six months. PM Modi and Amit Shah won't be able to afford any instability in MP, a state which gave them 28 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats.

In all probability, Chouhan could be brought to the Union government and be given an important ministry. There is a precedent here.

After the 2021 Assam elections, the BJP leadership replaced Sarbananda Sonowal with Himanta Biswa Sarma even though Sonowal was a reasonably popular CM and had just helped deliver a win for the BJP

But Sonowal was replaced and brought to the Centre as a minister. Shivraj could also face a similar fate. After the state elections, there are vacancies in the Jal Shakti and Agriculture ministeries with Prahlad Singh Patel and Narendra Singh Tomar resigning from their posts after becoming MLAs.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from elections and madhya-pradesh-election

Topics:  Narendra Modi   BJP   Shivraj Chouhan 

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