First cracks in BJP emerge on Narendra Modi elevation forces Rajnath on backfoot

Babulal Gaur

Induction of Narendra Modi in BJP's Parliamentary Board does not make him more powerful than other party Chief Ministers, Madhya Pradesh Minister Babulal Gaur said today - Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan did not get any promotion within the party in Sunday's meet.

Although the Gujarat strongman has been appointed to the BJP's highest decision-making body, it does not make him more powerful than other Chief Ministers from the party, Gaur said here.

Modi is the sole Chief Minister to be included in the 12-member body by BJP President Rajnath Singh, who announced his new team last weekend.

However, it has to be recognised that Modi is the only BJP Chief Minister who has won three Assembly elections in a row, the Urban Development Minister maintained.

In comparison, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has won two Assembly polls, while his counterpart in Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan has emerged victorious in one election, the BJP leader said.

The former Chief Minister said appointment of firebrand Hindutva leader Uma Bharti and Prabhat Jha, an ex-MP BJP President, as new ice-Presidents will help the party.

"Both of them have been made Vice-Presidents and this will surely help the BJP," Gaur said.

Chouhan left out of Par Board as there was one vacancy: Rajnath Singh

BJP President Rajnath Singh today said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was not included in the party's top decision-making Parliamentary Board since there was only one vacancy that was filled by his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi.

He also rejected suggestions that Modi, one of the main contenders for nomination as BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, had lobbied for himself or any of his supporters to be included in the new team.

"We had only one vacancy in the Parliamentary Board. There is no doubt that the performance of Chouhan is also excellent. It is very good. But there was only one vacancy and Narendra bhai is the seniormost Chief Minister. It was possible to have only one of them, so we chose Modi," Singh told reporters here.

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