In Madhya Pradesh, former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has emerged as the favourite. His candidature was bolstered further when he expressed unwillingness to shift base to New Delhi.
However, the RSS is of the view that with Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the state leadership needs to be in active role. The Sangh has reportedly received feedback that BJP workers are disenchanted with the state leaders, after they failed to come out in full force in the Assembly polls. In such a scenario, Chouhan could be given a role in the party rather than the Leader of Opposition.
Moreover, keeping in view the quota stir, Brahmin faces like party heavyweights Narottam Mishra and eight-time MLA Gopal Bhargav are also in contention.
Since Mishra was on Wednesday appointed as one of the three poll managers in UP for 2019, all eyes are now on Bhargav. His recent visit to the RSS office in Bhopal has fuelled the speculations.
In the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh, the situation is no different.
Besides the ousted CM Raman Singh, two of his former ministers—Brijmohan Agrawal and Ajay Chandrakar—are also in the race for the post of the Leader of Opposition. The BJP leadership reportedly had recently sent an observer to assess party matters and he is likely to visit the state again to make the final decision.
Raman Singh confirmed this and said a central observer was coming down from New Delhi and the party will appoint the leader of opposition ahead of the assembly session. Quite like Chouhan, Singh, too, has exhibited his aversion to shifting base to the national capital.
The first session of Assembly starts on January 7 in MP and January 4 in Chhattisgarh. But unlike Chhattisgarh, where the BJP has been reduced to 15 MLAs, the BJP has 109 legislators in Madhya Pradesh.
In Rajasthan too, the party is yet to take stock of the debacle in the Assembly polls. Former CM Vasundhara Raje Scindia has not had a comfortable relationship with the party high command. The tensions persisted in the appointment of the state BJP chief last year and also during ticket distribution.
Raje, however, prevailed on both occasions. With party under her registering a respectable tally in the elections, her claim over the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly has only strengthened.