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In Jaipur, there was a surprising twist at the BJP office during a recent meeting. Bhajan Lal Sharma, initially placed in the back row of a group photo, quickly found himself in the spotlight. The BJP suddenly announced him as the leader of the Rajasthan legislature party, and within an hour, he was at the front and center stage. On Friday, the 56-year-old man, who started as a village sarpanch 30 years ago, took the oath as the chief minister.

Sharma, a BJP general secretary in the state, is a first-time MLA from Sanganer in Jaipur. Despite his low-key image, he has a distinctive political journey. He gained fame through his RSS affiliation and played a key part in the Ayodhya Ram temple agitation, resulting in his 1992 imprisonment. His political career started early when he became a village sarpanch at the age of 27.

Sharma, from Bharatpur district, actively contributed to the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) and the party organization for three decades. He was part of ABVP during his school days and actively participated in protests. He progressed from BJYM district president to state vice president in the BJP and now serves as the general secretary.

Sharma, with a master’s degree in political science, is not just a politician; he runs an agriculture supplies business. While quietly dedicated, he consistently attends the BJP’s Jaipur office, earning praise from party leaders for his unwavering commitment. He aided Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the 2021 West Bengal elections, enhancing his credentials.

Rajasthan’s political landscape witnessed a twist as Sharma became the chief minister, concluding 12 days of post-election anticipation. Despite heavyweight names like Vasundhara Raje, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Arjun Ram Meghwal being discussed, it was Sharma who emerged as the unexpected choice. As they sat on the dais, he, seemingly out of nowhere, was the one reading out the oath.

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