Who will be the next chief minister? This is the question all of Chhattisgarh is seeking an answer to now.
In the victorious Bharatiya Janata Party camp in the state capital Raipur, local leaders maintain a united front on the issue, leaving the decision to their 'high command'.
rediff.com Senior Editor Jyoti Shukla spoke to Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Ramesh Bais, who is now believed to be a frontrunner in the race for the chief minister's post.
What will be the priority of the new BJP government in Chhattisgarh?
First of all we will restore the much abused democracy in the state. Our priority will be the development of Chhattisgarh. We will pay attention to roads in the state. The problem of unemployment is also on our priority list.
What about Ajit Jogi? He has been involved in many controversies. What stand will the state government adopt in these cases?
If Ajit Jogi has done something wrong, he will face a proper probe.
Who is the BJP's chief ministerial candidate now?
This will be decided by the high command after holding consultations with the BJP legislators.
Isn't that a typical Congress statement, that the high command will choose the chief minister? Don't you have a different answer?
No, no, we had stated even before the election campaign that it is going to be fought under a collective leadership. There was no particular candidate for the CM's post, unlike in Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan where Uma Bharti or Vasundhara Raje Scindia were the leaders.
What about Dilip Singh Judeo? He was declared chief ministerial candidate by your party leadership.
That was all created by the media, don't listen to them. Our party never said Judeo was a candidate for the post of chief minister [in Chhattisgarh].
Then who is the candidate for that post now? Are you?
No. As I said, it will be decided by the high command.