It is not common for a state unit president of a party to be replaced overnight. But in December, the abrupt replacement of Prabhat Jha as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief of Madhya Pradesh with Narendra Tomar has sent alarm bells ringing in the BJP. Jha said at a public meeting – in the presence of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan – that the decision to remove him “was kept as secret as Pokharan nuclear test that the nation conducted under the leadership of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee”.
At the meeting, Jha said the chief minister was controlling everybody with the backing of the party. He said he was removed from the post because he spoke of retirement from politics at 62. Jha pointed out he had made that remark for himself. He also said party workers knew all about power games, adding: “This is called politics but this political acumen should be used to defeat the Congress.”