Balaknath evades question on being among CM probables in Rajasthan

New Delhi: Rajasthan BJP leader Balaknath remained non-committal on Monday over the possibility of his becoming the chief minister of the state, even as his name is doing the rounds for the top post after the saffron party’s emphatic victory in the just-concluded Assembly polls.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returned to power in Rajasthan on Sunday, winning 115 of the 199 seats that went to polls. The Congress, which was hoping to buck the trend of the incumbent being voted out in the desert state every five years, ended up winning 68 seats.

After the poll results, speculation is rife about Balaknath being one of frontrunners for the chief minister’s post. The other contenders are Rajasthan BJP heavyweight and former chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Diya Kumari, who is a member of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family, party MP CP Joshi and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

“It is all because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guidance. The BJP got all the votes in his name,” Balaknath told reporters at the Parliament complex when asked for his comment on the poll results.

Asked who is going to be the chief minister of Rajasthan, he evaded a direct reply and said, “Aap sab ki kripa hai (it is your kindness).”

“I have dedicated my life to public service. I am serving the party. I am engaged in serving people,” the BJP leader said when a reporter asked if he would accept any responsibility in the state that the party gives him.

The BJP had fielded Balaknath, a “mahant” (seer) and an MP from Rajasthan’s Alwar, to contest the Assembly polls from Tijara. He won with a margin of 6,173 votes, defeating Congress candidate Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, it is gathered that the BJP leadership in Delhi summoned him last night, giving credence to the possibility of CM choice as in the case of UP when it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who picked him up though there were other aspiring senior leaders.