Enroute to Chhindwara, Not Delhi: What Shivraj Chouhan’s Move Means in Race for CM’s Chair in MP – News18

Last Updated: December 06, 2023, 09:23 IST

Those in the Shivraj Chouhan camp say it would be difficult for the party to ignore his case after the BJP has won 163 seats. (PTI)

Those in the Shivraj Chouhan camp say it would be difficult for the party to ignore his case after the BJP has won 163 seats. (PTI)

While Chouhan has been crediting his scheme and the prime minister’s ‘magic’ behind the win that has seen the BJP achieve its highest-ever vote share in an assembly election in Madhya Pradesh at 48.55 per cent, some of the CM contenders have tried to play down the ‘Ladli Behana’ effect

Madhya Pradesh Election 2023

Shivraj Singh Chouhan has stayed put in Bhopal since the big win for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, choosing not to come to Delhi, unlike his counterparts who see themselves as contenders for the chief minister’s chair and have paid visits to the top BJP leadership here.

On Wednesday, Chouhan is heading for Chhindwara, Kamal Nath’s stronghold, where the BJP lost all seven seats in the district like in 2018. The message from Chouhan with this move is that he is already in the gear for 2024 — wanting to snatch away the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat from Kamal Nath’s family which is the only seat in the state that Congress won in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Chouhan has said he wants to put a garland around Prime Minister Narendra Modi of all the ’29 Lok Sabha’ in MP. Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat has been the bastion of Nath since 1980.

What has caught more attention is Chouhan’s statement on Tuesday that “I was never a contender for the CM chair nor I am one today” and that he will do whatever job is given as he is a “BJP worker”. This, in BJP circles, is seen as a key message from Chouhan. In another statement, he said Ladli Behana scheme money would be sent on December 10 and the money would be slowly increased from Rs 1,250 p.m. to Rs 3,000. In all his statements so far, Chouhan has thanked the ‘ladli behanas’ for giving him an unprecedented victory.

Ladli Behana sole factor?

While Chouhan has been crediting his scheme and the prime minister’s ‘magic’ behind the win that has seen the BJP achieve its highest-ever vote share in an assembly election in Madhya Pradesh at 48.55 per cent, some of the CM contenders have tried to play down the ‘Ladli Behana’ effect.

Union Minister and now MLA from Narsinghpur, Prahlad Patel, has said the win is all due to PM Modi’s appeal and popularity. Senior BJP leader and MLA from Indore, Kailash Vijayvargiya, said ‘Ladli Behana’ was not the sole factor as the BJP secured big wins in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh where no such scheme existed. This is being seen as an effort to downplay Chouhan’s case.

However, those in the Chouhan camp say it would be difficult for the party to ignore his case after the BJP has won 163 seats. The other contenders like Prahlad Patel, Kailash Vijavargiya and Jyotiraditya Scindia have met the party leadership in Delhi after the win. Still, the party has termed them as courtesy visits since MPs and Union ministers are in Delhi for the Parliament session. However, Chouhan not visiting Delhi has raised some eyebrows in the BJP.