Jaipur, Mar 26 (IANS): At a time when the BJP has announced it will contest the assembly polls scheduled in December this year without naming a CM face, Ashwini Vaishnav, the Union minister of railways, seems to be a rising star in Rajasthan after he was ‘launched in the desert state during the Brahmin Mahapanchayat on March 19.
Vaishnav is usually not very active politically. However, when he was seen raising slogans in this panchayat, eyebrows were raised. This incarnation of his became a topic of discussion in the political circles of Rajasthan.
The railway minister on this occasion appealed to the people present there to show unity to save their religion. He called for the temples to be freed from government control. He also said that the number of Brahmin MLAs should be more in the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.
Political leaders said that his visit to the Brahmin Mahapanchayat sends out many political signals. The Bharatiya Janata Party has now made CP Joshi the party's state president as a Brahmin face. In such a situation, it will be interesting to see what will be the role of Ashwini Vaishnav in Rajasthan at a time when many people are trying to project themselves as a future chief minister.
Brahmins constitute just about 7-7.5 per cent of Rajasthan's population but a majority of the CMs in Rajasthan have been from the Brahmin community, though the last one was 33 years ago.
Hari Dev Joshi was the last Brahmin CM till 1990 from 1989.
The other Brahmin CMs in the state were Jai Narayan Vyas, Tikaram Palatal and Heeralal Shastri.
So far there have been six Brahmin Speakers in Rajasthan. The first Speaker was Narottam Lal Joshi, followed by Niranjan Nath Acharya, Ram Kishore Vyas.
After this, Giriraj Prasad Tiwari in the 80s and Harishankar Bhabhadra in the 90s were also the Speakers of the Assembly. After Bhabhadra, no Brahmin became a Speaker for a long time. Presently CP Joshi is the Speaker.
However, over the years, the influence of the Brahmin community started decreasing in the state.
Political analysts said that after 1980, there was a two-party competition in Rajasthan. Many non-Congress parties merged with the BJP.
Meanwhile, the political parties' attention turned towards the SC and ST categories. The process of gathering SC-ST votes started from here.
However, this time, the saffron party is trying to pitch in a Brahmin CM face to overcome the resentment brewing in the party, said sources, adding that earlier in the UP assembly polls, it was a challenge to convince the Brahmin voters.
Now, the party is working to placate this community in central India and Brahmin leaders will be given a prominent place in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Moreover, the party is searching for a CM face who is non-controversial and has hands-on experience to deal with the bureaucracy and politics and Vaishnav suits the role. He has worked as a bureaucrat and a minister. Also his stint under former Prime Minister late Atal Behari Vajpayee is a success story. So he maybe activated in the next few months. However, he will not be asked to contest the polls, but will be announced as the CM after the polls. Later, he might be asked to contest a by-poll, said sources.
Politics is a game of changing equations. However, the present circumstances suggest that Vaishnav seems to be a rising star as he comes from Rajasthan and Pali is his native place, said sources.