The newly elected Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs in Rajasthan will meet in Jaipur on Tuesday to formally pick the next chief minister of the state, ending days of suspense after the party won the assembly elections.
"The meeting of the BJP Legislature Party has been called at 4 pm on Tuesday at the BJP state office. Registration of all newly elected MLAs of the BJP will start at 1.30 pm," BJP state general secretary and MLA Bhajanlal Sharma said.
He said all newly elected MLAs have been asked to compulsorily attend the meeting.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who has been appointed as observer by the party, and the two co-observers -- national vice president Saroj Pandey and national general secretary Vinod Tawde -- will be present at the meeting, BJP leader in charge for Rajasthan Arun Singh told reporters.
When asked about the possibility of a Dalit leader being chosen as the CM, Singh said, "Everything will be revealed tomorrow."
Former chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Union ministers Arjun Ram Meghwal, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Ashwini Vaishnaw are said to be in the running for the CM's post in Rajasthan, one of three states that the BJP won in the recent elections.
The MLAs were informed Monday about the meeting of the legislature party, where the BJP's central leadership will make known its choice for the post, nine days after the results of the November 25 elections came in.
The BJP won 115 seats out of the 199 where polling took place. Polling was postponed in one constituency due to the death of a candidate.
Earlier, BJP MLA Jogeshwar Garg said the observers will hold one-on-one talks with the MLAs before the meeting to formally elect the legislature party leader, or the CM-designate.
When asked about the new legislators who met former chief minister Vasundhara Raje at her home Monday, Kirodi Lal Meena said 17 MLAs visited him as well after the results and this should not be seen as lobbying. Meena resigned from the Rajya Sabha after his election as an MLA.
Several MLAs have called on former Raje in recent days in what was seen as a show of support, amid speculation over what the party will decide. She also met party leaders in Delhi.
Rajendra Rathore, who lost the assembly elections, claimed that the BJP does not have the show-of-strength culture. Neither does anybody has the courage to do so, he said.
He said MLAs go to meet senior leaders to exchange wishes and it should not be seen in that sense, and asserted that all BJP leaders in the state are united.
Rathore said the new 'double engine' will take shape in Rajasthan tomorrow, a reference to the party holding power both in the state and at the Centre.