Two days ahead of a crucial meeting of the newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday posted the message "Sabhi ko Ram Ram ('Ram Ram' to all)" on X.
The post, accompanied by Chouhan's picture with his palms brought together, sparked off speculation as "Ram Ram" is used both as a greeting as well as a parting message.
But the state BJP chief V D Sharma maintained that the MLAs and the top leadership will decide who becomes the next chief minister of the state following the BJP's landslide victory in the last month's assembly elections.
"The three (central) observers will arrive in Bhopal on Monday morning. The MLAs will meet at 4 pm to elect their leader. Invitations have been sent to the MLAs. The process of the party would be followed and a decision will be taken," Sharma told reporters.
Asked about Chouhan's tweet, he said, "This is (Lord) Ram's country. On January 22, a grand idol of Lord Ram will be consecrated at the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. We greet each other in the morning by saying 'Ram, Ram'. It is our culture to start the day with the name of Ram."
The BJP was a cadre-based organisation and the party workers will accept and respect any decision taken by the leadership, he added.
"Our leadership...honourable prime minister, honourable Amit Shah ji, honorable BJP president J P Nadda and central leadership will take a call. The decision will be respected by the workers… our leadership will decide,” Sharma said.
To another question, he said, "The MLAs will decide their leader.”
The BJP on Friday appointed Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the party's OBC Morcha head K Laxman and its secretary Asha Lakra as observers for the election of its legislature party leaders in Madhya Pradesh.