Signal from Delhi about Shivraj Chouhan, New allies and difficulties inside the MP BJP

6 September, 2022 | Pranay Lad

BJP Headlines

Since Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the state’s chief minister, was recently abruptly removed from the BJP’s Parliamentary Board, the party’s highest decision-making body, political whee...

Since Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the state’s chief minister, was recently abruptly removed from the BJP’s Parliamentary Board, the party’s highest decision-making body, political wheels have started turning in Madhya Pradesh.

The action is interpreted as an indication that four-time CM Chouhan will be imprisoned in the state for the foreseeable future. Several recent occurrences are being considered connected as a result of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh being split into numerous sections.

In response to SP Rajesh Singh Chandel’s transfer of police inspectors without his consent on August 29, Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development Mahendra Singh Sisodia sought action against the SP. He then attributed the “uncontrolled” bureaucracy in the state to Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains.

While the remark was still being analysed for Chouhan-specific implications, state heavyweights Kailash Vijayvargiya and Jyotiraditya Scindia—neither of whom were close to Chouhan—exhibited a freshly found camaraderie on September 2. Union minister Scindia personally approached Vijayvargiya at a Madhya Pradesh Cricket Board function in Indore, which is Vijayvargiya’s home region, and asked him to share the dais with him.

Scindia and his son Mahaaryaman Scindia had stopped by Vijayvargia’s home in Indore a few days earlier when on a trip to Ujjain.

Brijendra Singh Yadav, the minister of state for public health and engineering, opened a new front when he recently requested a review into “irregular appointments” made by the Ashok Nagar District Collector in a letter to the state cooperative society commissioner.

As members of the group of 22 who switched from the Congress to the BJP in 2020, toppling the Kamal Nath-led Congress administration, both of the ministers who have charged authorities of wrongdoing are seen as Scindia supporters.

Then there were the “leaks” from a Madhya Pradesh general audit report that exposed theft in the department for women’s and children’s development, which is directly under the chief minister.

Chouhan has kept his cards close to his vest thus far. After being removed from the Parliamentary Board, he told reporters in Bhopal, “I don’t care at all if I am qualified” (and hence deserve to be on the board). In the best interests of the country, I will even lay carpets if the party assigns me that responsibility. I’d agree to stay in Jait (his hometown) if asked.

I will also comply if the party wants me to travel to Bhopal. In politics, there shouldn’t be any personal ambition.

Others downplayed the speculation over the BJP’s intentions for Chouhan, claiming that he still has the support of the party’s senior leadership and will be the CM candidate in the 2023 Assembly elections. A politician said that the BJP leadership is aware of his attempts to secure the CM position following the 2020 overthrow of the Congress.

There won’t be a change in the state’s leadership, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who is not one to mince words, recently informed the media.

“Chouhan sends updates on all Central programmes being implemented in the state on a regular basis. The party wants him to continue leading the state unit, the leader of the group said, adding that this has served him well over the past two years.

Leaders argued that it was incorrect to see Chouhan’s resignation from the Parliamentary Board as a slight. They said that the BJP did not want to create an environment in which concerns about the selection of just one CM for the Parliamentary Board would arise. “The central leadership opposes several state leaders being in the top body. Chouhan’s presence, though, made it challenging for them to argue for parity, the source claimed.

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