Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

New friends and tensions in MP BJP, as signal on Shivraj Chouhan from Delhi sets things in motion

Jyotiraditya Scindia loyalist ministers speak up against officials, as he and Vijayvargiya show newfound bonhomie

Some have played down the rumours regarding the BJP's plans for Shivraj Singh Chouhan, saying he continues to have the full backing of the top leadership and would be the CM face in the Assembly polls in 2023. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

Political wheels have begun churning in Madhya Pradesh ever since Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was unceremoniously dropped from the Parliamentary Board of the BJP – its highest decision-making body – recently.

The move is being read as a signal that Chouhan, a four-time CM, would for the foreseeable future be confined to the state. With the BJP in Madhya Pradesh riven by multiple factions, several developments since are being seen as linked.

On August 29, Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development Mahendra Singh Sisodia demanded action against SP Rajesh Singh Chandel for transferring police inspectors without his approval. Subsequently, he blamed Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains for the “uncontrolled” bureaucracy in the state.

While the statement was still being parsed for its import vis-a-vis Chouhan, on September 2, state stalwarts Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kailash Vijayvargiya – no friends of Chouhan — displayed newfound bonhomie. At an annual event of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Board held in Indore, Vijayvargiya’s territory, Union minister Scindia personally walked up to Vijayvargiya and requested him to share the dais with him.

Subscriber Only Stories
Crisis and anger: Reading China’s ‘Zero-Covid’ and anti...Premium
How to read Q2 GDP dataPremium
Arun Singhal: ‘India will keep importing fertilizers from Russia as long ...Premium
From bonds to banks: Large industry drives credit growthPremium

Days earlier, while on a tour of Ujjain, Scindia had dropped in at Vijayvargia’s house in Indore with his son Mahaaryaman Scindia.

Another front was opened by Minister of State, Public Health and Engineering, Brijendra Singh Yadav, who recently sent a letter to the state cooperative society commissioner seeking a probe against the Ashok Nagar District Collector over “irregularities in appointments”.

Both the ministers who have accused officials of irregularities are considered Scindia loyalists, being part of the group of 22 who had crossed over from the Congress to the BJP in 2020, bringing down the Kamal Nath-led Congress government.


Then came the “leaks” from a Madhya Pradesh general audit report highlighting fraud in the Women and Child Development Department, which is directly under the CM’s supervision.

Chouhan has so far played his cards close to his chest. Speaking to reporters in Bhopal after he was dropped from the Parliamentary Board, he told reporters, “I don’t care at all whether I am qualified (and hence deserve to be in the board). If the party gives me the task of laying carpets, I will do even that in the interest of the nation. If asked to stay in Jait (his home village), I will do so too. And if the party asks me to be in Bhopal, I will follow directions. There should be no personal ambition in politics.”

Others played down the rumours regarding the BJP’s plans for Chouhan, saying he continues to have the full backing of the top leadership and would be the CM face in the Assembly polls in 2023. A leader said that the BJP leadership remembers his efforts in securing the CM post after toppling the Congress in 2020.


Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who is not known to mince his words, also told the media recently that there would be no change in leadership in the state.

“Chouhan regularly sends updates of all Central schemes that are being implemented in the state. This has held him in good stead over the past two years,” a leader said, also stressing that the party wishes for him to continue leading the state unit.

Leaders said it was also wrong to perceive Chouhan’s exit from the Parliamentary Board as a snub. They argued that the BJP did not want to create a situation where questions might be raised over the inclusion of only one CM in the Parliamentary Board. “The central leadership does not want certain state leaders to be part of the apex body. However, Chouhan’s presence made it difficult for them to make a case for parity,” a source said.

First published on: 06-09-2022 at 03:38:08 pm
Next Story

The Kapil Sharma Show new promo: Kapil Sharma declares his lockdown marriage with Sumona Chakravarti invalid

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments