Madhya Pradesh: BJP rushes to quell dissidence against Shivraj

It’s no secret in Bhopal that there’s infighting within the state BJP as assembly elections approach. The dissidence against Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is now out in the open

Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

LS Herdenia

"Sink your differences” was the advice given by the Bharatiya Janata Party high command’s emissary to the Madhya Pradesh leaders of the party.

In the wake of the reports of serious differences among the party leaders, the central BJP leadership dispatched Saudan Singh, national joint secretary of the party, to Bhopal. Over three days, Singh met Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, other ministers, party functionaries and organisation secretaries who represent RSS in the party. Singh held one-to-one meetings with assembly Speaker Sitasharan Sharma, urban development minister Maya Singh, revenue minister Umashankar Gupta, MoS for cooperatives Vishwas Sarang, Mining Corporation chairman Shiv Chaube, district president of Hoshangabad Hari Jaiswal and a few selected MLAs, said sources in BJP.

Singh advised party members to desist from groupism and focus on booth networking in all blocks. “The leaders must sink their differences and unite to strengthen booth-level network. The party will support them in their efforts,” Saudan Singh is learnt to have said.

There is every reason to believe that Saudan Singh was rushed to Bhopal after reports of party legislators mounting severe criticism on the working of various ministers in the course of the just concluded budget session in the Vidhan Sabha. More than a dozen legislators of the ruling party targeted several ministers for their acts of commission and omission. Most vociferous among them was Babulal Gaur, veteran BJP leader who Chouhan replaced as Chief Minister in 2005.

The other legislators who raised their voice were Girish Gautam, Moti Kashyap, Neena Verma, Jitendra Gehlot, Hazarilal Dangi, Dr Kailash Jatav, RD Prajapati and Subedar Rajodhar. All of them criticised the government for rampant corruption, non-implementation of various schemes, breakdown of law and order, illegal mining, red tapism, indifferent attitude of the officers in particular Collectors and failure of ministers to give attention to various issues of public importance brought to their notice by party MLAs from time to time.

It’s no secret in Bhopal that there is increasing infighting within the state BJP in the run-up to assembly elections later this year, and that some groups within the party are unhappy at Chouhan leading the party into the campaign, with hopes of winning a fourth term as CM. It remains to be seen whether this emissary despatched by the high command will be able to quell the dissidence.

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Published: 30 Mar 2018, 8:36 AM