As Delhi dawdles, Shivraj Chouhan gets going, reverts to battle mode | Political Pulse News


As the race for Chief Minister’s post in the BJP heats up in the aftermath of a 163-out-of-230 seat victory, a beeline of heavyweight leaders from Madhya Pradesh have made their way to the BJP central leadership in Delhi.

Outgoing CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, though, has taken a different route. Yet to visit Delhi, he has, in his words, thrown himself back into campaigning mode — for ‘Mission 29’, or the BJP’s stated resolve to win all the 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2024.

His starting point is unmissable too – MP Congress chief Kamal Nath’s turf of Chhindwara, which was the lone Lok Sabha seat won by the Congress in 2019, and where all the 7 Assembly segments were won by the Congress this time.

Chouhan is telling party workers the BJP is fully behind them and promising beneficiaries of his government’s winning Ladli Behna scheme that his next goal is to make them ‘Lakhpati Behnas (millionaires)’. “This is my dream, my mission”, he says – a message that should also travel to Delhi, given that the 64-year-old victorious CM has been kept hanging by the party over his new role.

Meanwhile, his rivals too are moving about their pieces on the power chess board. Post-results, Union minister Prahlad Patel and BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, both now MLAs and in contention for CM post, have been quiet on the Ladli Behna scheme, while talking of the Madhya Pradesh win in the same breath as the BJP’s victories in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Festive offer

The two have been camped in Delhi, and have had meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda, as have another Union minister-turned-MLA Narendra Singh Tomar, MP-turned-MLAs Riti Pathak and Rakesh Singh, and BJP state president V D Sharma.

Chouhan’s 160 rallies during the campaign were an indicator that he, for sure, won’t be tired out of the race – even if retirement comes. In more signs of the same, the serving CM has been busy from the get-go after the results.

On December 5, he welcomed a Ram Rath Yatra at his residence; attended two events of Ladli Behna beneficiaries in Naya Bhopal, sharing lunch with them sitting on the ground; visited rain shelters in the city to take stock; and wrapped up the day with a family dinner at popular Bhopal eatery Manohar Dairy.

The next day, Chouhan announced his ‘Mission 29’, telling the crowd how he had barely slept two-three hours a day, working 20 hours daily during the Assembly elections, and adding that they should put in the same effort to ensure Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s win a third time.

At Chhindwara, he lauded the efforts of the BJP candidates who lost, telling them that because of the challenge they gave Kamal Nath, the Congress leader had got confined to his turf. “You ringed him here. I fought from Budhni, I filled my nomination form, the people said don’t come here again, just come to cast your vote… Dada (Nath) was trapped here, Mama was touring,” Chouhan said.

His speeches during this Mission 29 tour have been high on nationalist rhetoric. “Breaking the necks of Chinese soldiers who dare intrude into our territory”, abolition of Article 370 and Ram Mandir are some of the themes of Chouhan’s speeches.

On December 7, he told party workers at Sheopur in Morena that he did not want the loss to weigh them down. “Victory and defeat will continue, but Shivraj Singh Chouhan is with you.”

Chouhan’s leap of faith though is not without a safety net: as he talks about the party’s victory, the veteran leader never forgets to mention the PM, his “double-engine government”, and “his guidance”.


Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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