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Finally! BJP breathes easy in Madhya Pradesh
Aditi Phadnis | December 03, 2005 19:14 IST
Last Updated: December 03, 2005 19:41 IST
At last, peace is likely to break out in the Bharatiya Janata Party unit of Madhya Pradesh.
In the past two years, after the party rode to victory in the assembly elections, there has not been a day of tranquility in the government.
Now, with Shivraj Singh Chouhan being put firmly in the saddle, hopefully there will be more press conferences in Bhopal about Madhya Pradesh than about errant MLAs' activities.
Actually, Chouhan had always been envisaged as the chief minister, right from the days of the assembly campaign. He was fielded from Raghogarh, against former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, so that later the party could be told that he was the one who defeated the CM and, therefore, should represent the BJP in the top job.
The BJP was aware that Chouhan - who is from an Other Backward Caste (he is a Kurmi) - could prove to be a challenger to fellow OBC politician Uma Bharti, in the future. But the thinking was that Bharti was more valuable in the centre rather than as a state-level leader. So Chouhan's challenge would be manageable.
That was as far back as 1951, indicating that even the Congress had to bow before the pressure mounted by the Sangh. Chouhan is modest, gentle and soft-spoken - representatives from all groups in the BJP testify to this. So he is unlikely to face much dissidence.