Ten of 12 BJP MPs who contested and won seats in November’s state elections – including union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Prahlad Patel – resigned from Parliament on Wednesday, and will also step down from the cabinet. Prahlad Patel, who is, for now, Minister of State for Food Processing, told news agency ANI, “I have resigned as MP and will resign from cabinet soon.”
The resignations were procedural, NDTV has been told, since the Constitution does not allow an individual to function both as a Member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly of a state.
The two who have not yet resigned – Baba Balaknath from Rajasthan’s Alwar and Renuka Singh from Chhattisgarh’s Sarguja – are expected to do so shortly, NDTV was told.
Their resignations have ramped up speculation the party could make these announcements shortly, perhaps even today. BJP sources told NDTV this morning the party may choose new faces, ruling out a fifth term for Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Chouhan. The two other states were held by the Congress.
A nearly five-hour meeting, attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party boss JP Nadda, was held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home in Delhi today.
The BJP – which routed the Congress in three states and was, in turn, beaten in two others – fielded 21 MPs, including five union ministers, across the five elections held last month. The party had seven MPs each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, four in Chhattisgarh, and three in Telangana.
None of the BJP’s big faces in Telangana managed a win; the party itself was routed in the southern state, winning just eight of the 111 seats it contested, and left watching as the Congress scored big.
Three BJP MPs lost in Rajasthan, two in Madhya Pradesh, and one in Chhattisgarh.
Some of the (now ex-) BJP parliamentarians fielded, apart from Mr Tomar and Mr Patel, were Baba Balaknath, Diya Kumari and Kirori Lal Meena in Rajasthan, and Vijay Baghel in Chhattisgarh.
The trio from Rajasthan won their seats but Mr Baghel – up against his uncle and outgoing Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel – lost. The BJP also fielded two union ministers in Chhattisgarh – Renuka Singh and Gomti Sai. Ms Singh won from Bharatpur-Sonahat and Ms Sai from Pathalgaon.
The only union minister who failed to make the grade was Faggan Singh Kulaste, the Minister of State for Tribal Development. He lost from Madhya Pradesh’s Niwas seat.
The Congress also fielded MPs, including Revanth Reddy and Uttam Kumar Reddy in Telangana. Both won their respective seats and the party now has 14 days to decide which seat each will hold.
In the case of Revanth Reddy the choice has been made; the 56-year-old, who won the Kodangal seat, will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister on Thursday, meaning he too will resign his MP seat.
A similar logic is likely at play within the BJP in Rajasthan, where Baba Balaknath, Kirori Lal Meena, and Diya Kumari among the seven big names in the race to succeed Ashok Gehlot to the top post.
In Madhya Pradesh, Mr Patel and Mr Tomar are in the race to head the government.
With input from agencies
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