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Not in race to be Madhya Pradesh CM: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Rajasthan MLAs meet Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur | Raman Singh lies low in Chhattisgarh

Not in race to be Madhya Pradesh CM: Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, December 5

Madhya Pradesh caretaker Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday said he was never a CM contender, neither in the past nor today and had always discharged the duty the BJP had assigned him. “I am a simple party worker. I have never been a CM contender, neither earlier nor today. In my capacity as a humble worker, I will discharge whatever role is given to me,” said Chouhan, moments after welcoming a Ram Rath Yatra in Bhopal where people shouted pro-Chouhan slogans—“Hamara mukhya mantri kaisa ho, Shivraj Chouhan jaisa ho”, and “Behnon ka bhai kaisa ho, Shivraj bhaiya jaisa ho”. The BJP veteran said he was not going to New Delhi amid ongoing parleys on who the next CM should be.

“My objective is to win all 29 Lok Sabha seats in the 2024 polls so that PM Narendra Modi returns for the third time,” said Chouhan, who will proceed to Chhindwara tomorrow where the BJP lost all seven Assembly seats.

Chouhan looked relaxed and confident today with most BJP leaders in MP estimating his return as the CM. Last year Chouhan (64) became the longest-serving BJP Chief Minister in the party’s history, surpassing Raman Singh’s record in Chhattisgarh. His personal popularity is something the BJP top brass is conscious of and values.

Chouhan won from traditional Budhni seat polling 1.49 lakh votes, the third highest in MP, without campaigning in the area even for a day.

While the CM issue remains a sticking point, Chouhan today went about usual business, continuing to meet the beneficiaries of flagship ‘Laadli Behna’ direct cash transfer scheme to poor women and announcing that their monthly instalment would be released on December 10. The scheme is widely believed to have swung polls in the BJP’s favour.

In Rajasthan, more MLAs met ex-CM Vasundhara Raje with nearly 50 of those 115 elected believed to have paid courtesy visits.

Rajasthan BJP general secretary Arun Singh today said the parliamentary board chaired by PM Modi would take the final call on the CM and that would be acceptable to all. But some MLAs are making their views public. Nasirabad MLA Ramswaroop Lamba today said the BJP “returned to power in Rajasthan only because of the work done by PM Modi and Vasundhara”. The BJP is learnt to be weighing the option of retaining the old guard in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh until the Lok Sabha polls, instead of disturbing the veterans too much.

In Chhattisgarh, ex-CM Raman Singh has been lying low after winning Rajnandgaon, though he is not out of the race for the top post. Other contenders are state unit president Arun Sao, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh and BJP vice-president Lata Usendi.

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#BJP #Chhattisgarh #Madhya Pradesh #Rajasthan #Shivraj Singh Chouhan

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