Usually soft-spoken, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday joined issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi as he alleged the “biggest land mafia” in the country, Robert Vadra, was sitting at her home.
Chouhan’s stinging remark against Sonia came in response to her comments made at a rally in Sidhi on Thursday that corruption was rampant in Madhya Pradesh with forest and mining mafia ruling the roost.
Unlike his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, Chouhan usually avoids personal attacks on the Gandhis and the Prime Minister.
“She accuses others of being a land mafia, but does not understand that no one can outdo her relatives,” he said in Vidisha at an election rally to support Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Kalyan Dangi, the party’s nominee in the byelection to the eponymous Assembly seat. Robert Vadra is the son-in-law of Sonia. The CM advised Sonia and PM Manmohan Singh to take tips from M for fighting poverty because Congress could no longer win election on its failed ‘Garibi Hatao’ plank.
Meanwhile, at another rally in Ashoknagar district, Chouhan dismissed a challenge by Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, a candidate from Guna constituency, to engage in a one-on-one debate over establishment of a medical college in Shivpuri.
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“I don’t need to debate with a Maharaj, this is democracy. He can debate with my health minister,” he said in response to the dare to resign if he was proved wrong on the medical college. Scindia insisted the Centre had sanctioned a medical college in Shivpuri. Chouhan and Health Minister Narottam Mishra have raised doubts over sanction for the college and wondered if any budgetary allocation was made.