BJP central leadership has changed the state president for Rajasthan as elections are just around the corner in the largest state. There have been multiple reports of infighting within BJP on the face for upcoming elections. There are multiple faces in the ring for the top post if the party comes to power, former CM Vasundhara Raje is the front runner after her recent show of strength on her birthday then there is Satish Poonia, Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Rajya Sabha MP Kirori Lal Meena and recent entrant in the news of this internal tussle Railway minister Ashwin Vaishnav.
The Brahmin leader was unexpectedly appointed state chief by the BJP in Rajasthan
Satish Poonia, the BJP’s president for Rajasthan, has been replaced by Chandra Prakash Joshi, a Chittorgarh Lok Sabha Member. Poonia is the organization’s second anti-Raje voice to be silenced.
Eight months before elections in Rajasthan, the BJP on Thursday unexpectedly replaced Satish Poonia, the state’s elected official, with Chandra Prakash Joshi, a member of parliament from Chittorgarh.
Joshi, a Brahmin leader with roots in the RSS, rose through the ranks, first joining the ABVP as president of the students’ union at his college in Chittorgarh, then joining the zila parishad, obtaining an up-pradhan position in the Bhadesar Panchayat Samiti, and holding several positions before being elected as the President of the Rajasthan Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).
Joshi was elected to the Lok Sabha from Chittorgarh in 2014, during the Narendra Modi wave that swept the country by a massive 3.16 lakh votes. In 2019, he won again, this time by a margin of 5.76 lakh votes over Congress rival Gopal Singh Shekhawat. This was the state’s second-largest victory margin in that election, trailing only the BJP’s Subhash Chandra Baheria’s win from Bhilwara by 6.12 lakh votes.
Since August 2020, Joshi has served as the BJP’s state vice president.
In an election year, the BJP may try to capitalize on Joshi’s status as Brahmin leader. Rajasthan has had four Brahmin chief ministers, the most of any community, though the most recent was over three decades ago.
When it comes to Brahmin representation in the Rajasthan BJP, there is currently a void. Ghanshyam Tiwari, an insightful six-term MLA who left and formed his party after disagreements with then-BJP Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, was the last tall Brahmin leader in Rajasthan. He eventually returned to the BJP, and the party elected him to the Rajya Sabha last year.
In comparison to Poonia, who is 58, Joshi, 47, is much younger.
Over the weekend, Brahmin Mahapanchayat appeared to celebrate Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw as the BJP’s new face in the community. However, Joshi has several advantages over Vaishnaw, including the fact that he is more organized than the Union minister, who has spent most of his career as a bureaucrat.
Joshi is one of the Mahapanchayat speakers. He told the crowd, proudly wearing his caste on his sleeve, “The country and the global community agree that if anyone runs the universe, it is the gods. And the gods are influenced by mantras. Who is reciting those mantras? It belongs to the Brahmin community. As a result, this community commands respect for a reason.”
Joshi delivered three messages to the community on one occasion, some of which may now bear fruit as he takes over as state president:
“Brahmins should refrain from speaking negatively about one another and pulling stunts. Second, Lord Parshuram’s sons must stand up if an adharmi (unrighteous/godless) commits a crime using a Hindu’s daughter. Third, if a poor community’s daughter is denied kanyadaan or education, our people should hold her hand and guide her forward.”
The last time Joshi made headlines before Mahapanchayat was in November 2022 when he was accused of slapping a government worker who had allegedly asked someone for a bribe.
Arun Singh, the BJP’s national general secretary and Rajasthan’s in-charge, said Poonia was very much part of the state’s plan. According to him, “a strong leader will keep playing a vital role in the future.”
Aside from caste, Joshi is also a good fit for the BJP in terms of region. He is from Rajasthan’s Mewar region, like Kataria.
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