BJP's big surprise: Who is Mohan Yadav? The new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh!

When the central observers of BJP arrived in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on Monday - December 11 to pick the Chief Ministerial candidate, the scale of expectations on who would win the race was as high as the expectations among the voters that the BJP would end the suspense on Monday. The party has indeed ended the suspense but showered a big surprise by picking up a leader who was less prominent among the top contenders in the race. 

The BJP won Madhya Pradesh in the recently-held assembly polls in a clear majority and the party gave a new trend to itself as it went to the polls for the first time in twenty years without announcing the Chief Ministerial candidate. The results were declared on December 3 and the suspense kept by the party on its Chief Ministerial pick had sparked a race between senior leaders including former Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, BJP's Madhya Pradesh strongman Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and veteran state leaders. 

The race that lasted for nearly ten days had ended on Monday with the party announcing its surprise pick - the brand new face Mohan Yadav as the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. For the party leaders both at state and national levels, Yadav's elevation to the apex role would give a fresh start for the party in the state and also mark the end of Shivraj Singh Chouhan's era. 

Who is Mohan Yadav? 

58-year-old Mohan Yadav is a lesser known face in the national politics but has a staunch association with the BJP for nearly four decades. Yadav has been elected as an MLA from the Ujjain South constituency for the third time in the recently-held polls and though he enjoys a stronghold in Ujjain, he was perhaps not a frontrunner for the Chief Ministerial post and that even his family members didn't believe that he would hit the jackpot. 

According to reports, Yadav is a prominent Hindutva face in the Malwa region that is BJP's stronghold and is considered close to BJP's parent body, the RSS. Joined the Hindutva party in 1984, Yadav had served as the Higher Education Minister in the previous government led by Chouhan. As a businessman by profession, Yadav became MLA for the first time in 2013 from Ujjain South and he continues to represent the seat till now. 

He became the minister for the first time in July 2020 and within three years of entering the cabinet, he is now been named the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. Yadav is also a law graduate and holds a PhD. He is known for introducing saffron elements in the higher education syllabus in the state and while he was serving as the Higher Education Minister, chapters based on religious texts and epics such as Bhagwad Gita and Mahabharata were introduced for undergraduate courses in colleges in the state under the National Education Policy (NEP) in 2021. 

Yadav's name was officially announced in the meeting of BJP central observers on Monday, after which outgoing Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tendered his resignation. Jagdish Devda, the outgoing finance minister and two time MLA from Mandsaur and Rajendra Shukla, the outgoing public relations minister and MLA from Rewa have been elected as the Deputy Chief Ministers.

After being named as the next Chief Minister, Yadav said, "I am a small worker of the party. I thank all of you, the state leadership and the central leadership. With your love and support, I will try to fulfil my responsibilities." "I thank PM Modi, Amit Shah, JP Nadda, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, VD Sharma for giving me such a big responsibility. I will take forward the development journey of the state", he added.

BJP has won 163 seats of 230-member assembly in Madhya Pradesh and it is the first time in twenty years that the BJP has contested the election without a chief ministerial face. Mohan Yadav will sworn-in as the fifth Chief Minister of BJP in Madhya Pradesh, while Chouhan remains as the longest serving BJP Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh as he reigned the state for over 16 years.