Bhopal, December 10: Over a week after the Bharatiya Janata Party registered a mammoth victory in Madhya Pradesh with securing 163 out 230 seats, the new Chief Minister is likely to be decided on Monday. The BJP MLAs would assemble at the party headquarters in Bhopal at 4 pm to reach unanimity on the Leader of the Legislative Party, and consequently, the Chief Minister.

The meeting, which would be held in the presence of three observers - Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, OBC Morcha head Dr. K. Lakshman and National Secretary Asha Lakra, is scheduled to be concluded by 7 pm. Until it, suspense remains on whether the BJP’s central leadership would retain incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for a record fifth term or a new face will be appointed. Madhya Pradesh Election 2023 Results: Congress Leader Kamal Nath Meets CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Congratulates Him for Election Victory (Watch Video).

Political circles in Madhya Pradesh have been abuzz with speculation that the party is more likely to appoint a new face. But the key question is who exactly could replace Chouhan, who not only ruled the state for nearly two decades, but has established himself as the most popular politician in the state.

Political watchers are of the view that the BJP would decide the Chief Minister’s face keeping the next year's Lok Sabha elections in mind and therefore, the caste equation would a crucial role to play in the process. ‘I Won’t Be Going to Delhi’: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to Visit Chhindwara, Where BJP Lost All Seven Seats in Assembly Elections 2023.

While some observers put the senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in first place, as a successor to Chouhan is being replaced, some others believe that an OBC face would be the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

At this point, former Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel and the Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia’s names are being speculated. Political watchers were also of the view that even if CM Chouhan is being replaced, his consent will be crucial to decide his successor.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 10, 2023 11:09 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website