A key meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Paty's newly-elected 54 MLAs in Chhattisgarh to pick the legislative party leader will be held in Raipur on Sunday which is likely to end the suspense over who will be the next chief minister.
“The BJP's legislative party meeting will take place on Sunday. The party's three observers – Union ministers Arjun Munda and Sarbananda Sonowal, and party general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam – will be present,” the party's state unit president Arun Sao told reporters on Saturday.
BJP's Chhattisgarh in-charge Om Mathur, Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya and party co-incharge for the state Nitin Nabin will also attend, he added.
Mathur landed at the Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur on Saturday evening.
Asked about the meeting of BJP MLAs, Mathur said, “Our party's observers are coming and we are waiting for the decision they take (at the meeting on Sunday".
Responding to a query, Mathur said there is no "formula" for electing the chief minister.
"There is a system set by the BJP's parliamentary board which will be followed," he said when asked about the visit of observers.
The meeting to elect the BJP legislative party leader would begin at noon.
Meanwhile, Mathur exuded confidence that Congress will be swept out in the 2024 parliamentary elections in Chhattisgarh.
In the 2018 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 9 out of the total 11 seats in the state, while the Congress bagged only two constituencies.
Queried about the BJP's plans for the upcoming general elections, Mathur said, "It is certain that Congress will be swept out in Lok Sabha polls" and congratulated BJP workers and leaders in Chhattisgarh for their efforts in clinching a historic win in assembly polls.
In the recently-held assembly polls, the BJP won 54 of the 90 seats and the Congress 35.
The Gondwana Gantantra Party managed to win one seat.
Speculations are doing rounds on who will get to don the mantle of the chief minister in view of the BJP contesting the recent polls without declaring any CM face.
It is speculated that the party may go for an OBC or a tribal chief minister if it doesn't pick party stalwart Raman Singh, who served as CM thrice from 2003 to 2018.
Former Union minister Vishnu Deo, Renuka Singh, who resigned as Union minister after being elected as an MLA, former state ministers Ramvichar Netam and Lata Usendi, and MP Gomti Sai, who won the assembly polls, are being seen as contenders from the tribal community.
State BJP chief Arun Sao, who too resigned as an MP after being elected as an MLA, and bureaucrat-turned-politician OP Choudhary, both from Other Backward Classes (OBC), are also among potential CM candidates.