Millennium Post

Meet the maestro from MP

The present Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan has been emerging as an unassailable leader in BJP in Madhya Pradesh and has earned a rare recognition with nomination by the party president Amit Shah in the recently constituted Parliamentary Board and Central Election Committee of the saffron party. Apart from this Shivraj is the only saffron party CM in the state to complete a full term and to return his party to power in the subsequent Assembly election.

The other CMs from the saffron party-VK Saklecha, Sunder Lal Patwa, Kailash Joshi, Uma Bharti and Babu Lal Gaur had to demit their offices in between without completing their term. The general elections of Lok Sabha in 2009 and 2014 and Vidhan Sabha elections in 2008 and 2013 in the state were contested under the overall supervision and leadership of Shivraj Singh in the state.  The swing in favour of the BJP had been 11 per cent in 2014 against vote share in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

The party not only secured 11 more seats than last election but could manage to win all but two seats in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Shivraj’s magic helped in the landslide victory of BJP in 2013 Vidhan Sabha elections, it secured 44.87 per cent votes, 2.37 per cent more, than secured under the leadership of Uma Bharti in 2003 Vidhan Sabha elections. Further Shivraj could secure a hat trick for the party in the three consecutive Vidhan Sabha elections by drubbing the Congress Party in Vidhan Sabha elections while being the CM in 2008 and 2013.

Shivraj has to be commended not only for his style of governance but also for his constant touch with the general public in the state. He is in the habit of establishing direct contact with the public in the public meetings by his forceful and effective interactions. It is a marvellous achievement to complete a full term as the saffron party CM in a state as the party had been installing one after another during a single term in different states due to certain known and unknown reasons.

The party installed the three CMs in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, MP, and Karnataka and UP in particular different terms. The exception has been in the case of Chhatisgarh, Goa and Rajasthan and later on Gujarat. Shivraj Singh Chauhan as the CM has a number of welfare schemes such as Laadli Laxmi Yojana, Kanya Dhan Yojana and Janani Suraksha Yojana conceived and successfully implemented by him.  These schemes were later emulated by the centre and various states. Shivraj had been often applauded by the party patriarch LK Advani and another senior leader Sushma Swaraj.  Shivraj carries the mass appeal in the state and being termed as a maternal uncle, Mama, of the masses.  A mass leader and a performer Shivraj got support from Advani when the present PM was being referred as the best performer CM in the country.

Shivraj, 55, has been an elected representative since 1990; he was first elected to Vidhan Sabha from Budhni in 1990 and won the Lok Sabha election from Vidisha seat in 1991. He served five terms in Lok Sabha, from the 10th to  the 14th. Though he was elected to the 14th Lok Sabha in 2004, Shivraj had to take up the post of the CM in his state on the post being demitted by the then CM Babu Lal Gaur. In all Shivraj contested ten elections and had to face defeat only once when he fought against Digvijay Singh of Congress in the Raghogarh Assembly seat in 2003. Shivraj took over as CM on 29th November 2005 and is still holding the baton in the state. With completion of his present term in 2018, Shivraj is likey to become the largest serving Chief minister in the state.  His stint has been the largest as far as the CMs from BJP/JP are concerned. Shivraj has completed around 2212 days as CM and is only behind  Digvijay Singh with a tenure of 3654 days. Both Shivraj and Digvijay Singh  had no break in their stint.  

The public life of Shivraj started as a member of RSS when he was just 13.  He became active in student politics and later opposed imposition of emergency and was jailed.  Shivraj functioned as the President of BJP Yuva Morcha and state BJP president prior to becoming the CM. Like other politicians in the country Shivraj faced certain corruption charges. The latest being, Vyapam- Madhya Pradesh Professional Employment Board (MPPEB). Involvement of the state government in irregularities appeared in the media. It has been alleged application forms in large number were missing apart from imposters taking examinations. Another dumper scam also brought out the alleged role of Mrs Shivraj Singh in purchase of Rs 2 crore dumpers.

A local court ordered an enquiry but the Lokayukt found no substance in the case.  A case of alleged favour to wards Shivraj’s  brother in law was also in the news. Digvijay Singh produced certain documents in support of sanctioning a licence by the PWD. Despite all this the image of the CM continues to be unaffected.

The author is a communication consultant

Next Story
Share it