The Raghubar Das syndrome: CMs who aren’t visible, don’t win

CM TS Rawat and Jairam Thakur must watch out

The Raghubar Das syndrome: CMs who aren’t visible, don’t win

Out of the 28 states of the country, 11 states have BJP Chief Ministers and 6 have party’s coalition partner leader on the CM chair. Out of these 11 Chief Ministers, many are suffering from what we call- The Raghubar Das syndrome.

The leaders suffering from this syndrome work tirelessly for the welfare of the people of the state, but do not popularize their achievements and hence are not much visible in media. Leaders like these are the ones who suffer from Raghubar Das syndrome, as the former chief minister of Jharkhand lost the power in the state due to the same reason. 

In Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu of BJP is the chief minister of the state since July 2016. Coming from a northeastern state- the region of the country is largely ignored by so-called National media, Khandu still grabs headline many times and is pretty much popular among people of the state. Therefore, he is safe.

Another Northeastern state which has BJP chief minister is Assam, where Sarbananda Sonowal is the chief minister since May 2016. He is also not visible in media despite the fact Assam has been in the headlines since BJP came to power. The state has been in news for various reasons positive and negative, but, Sonowal has been out of the news. However, Himanta Biswa Sarma, the former person controls most senior ministries compensates for ‘Raghubar Das syndrome’ of Sonowal. As Sarma is ‘de facto CM’ and in all probability CM candidate for the 2021 election, and therefore BJP is safe in the state despite having a CM suffering from Das syndrome.

In Goa and Gujarat, the states which BJP has ruled for so long, are naturally safe as Pramod Sawant and Vijay Rupani receive wide media coverage and opposition, being out of power for so long, has become irrelevant to a great extent. Therefore, the party is in safe hands and no question of CMs suffering from Das syndrome.

In Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar also does not popularize his work. However, he gets the benefit of Haryana’s proximity with Delhi, which is the centre of National media. Therefore, the party gets enough coverage and headlines, although the CM does not engage himself in so much popularising of his work.

In Himachal Pradesh, the chief minister Jai Ram Thakur is also suffering from Raghubar Das syndrome. Just a few days ago, Himachal Pradesh became the first state with 100 per cent LPG coverage, but hardly one or two media house picked up the story. Being a small state, it does not matter much to national media, but still, the CM can popularize the positive developments in the state through aggressive PR. Otherwise, BJP will meet the same fate as in Jharkhand in the next election.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa is continuously in media headlines for positive as well as negative reasons and therefore no question of Das syndrome arise here. The Twitter handle of Karnataka BJP is very popular among tweeples; overall the state has a good PR strategy.

Manipur and Tripura, two other BJP states with BJP chief ministers, N Biren Singh and Biplab Deb respectively, are also in news regularly. Deb is very popular among the people of the state and his schemes are well received. Biren Singh needs to work on media management and PR but still, he could not be categorized among those suffering from Das syndrome.

In Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has set an example on how to popularize the government policies and remain in the media limelight. He is immensely popular and perhaps only state CM leader who can win the vote for the party in other states too. The CMs of other states should learn from Yogi.

Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat is also suffering from Das syndrome. His government has been media limelight only for wrong reasons like a government takeover of Temples trust. His government’s policies are also not popular and he is seen as an extremely arrogant man by the people of the state as well as other party leaders, just like Raghubar Das. His government has the most probability to lose power in fashion BJP lost Jharkhand.