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Home > News > PTI

Journey of a diehard RSS activist

November 26, 2005 23:58 IST

A diehard Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist since his college days, Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party President Shivraj Singh Chouhan has travelled a long way before being catapulted to the post of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister.

Born in a family of agriculturists, 46-year-old Chouhan has come a long way from a humble beginning before gaining prominence in party hierarchy and being recognised as the next generation functionary and dynamic leader.

'Top job not a challenge'

Known for his captivating speeches, the BJP Lok Sabha MP from Vidisha held numerous posts in the party, including general secretary of party's Parliamentary Board and Central Election Committee, before being made the state party chief earlier this year.

The five-time Lok Sabha member, who took charge of the state party unit at a time when the organisation was badly in need of a dynamic leadership this year, had been instrumental in strengthening BJP in the state after Congress seemed to gain prominence in panchayat and local bodies elections.

Chouhan's selection as chief minister came amidst stiff resistance from firebrand sanyasin Uma Bharti's supporters who had been mounting pressure for her return at the helm of affairs.

Chouhan, on the other hand, has been cautious while making statements about political revolt against Chief Minister Babulal Gaur and had been keeping himself out of the race for the post.

His selection puts an end to months of vigorous campaign by Bharti loyalists, including MLAs and state ministers, for
removal of Gaur accusing him of neglecting party leaders and acting at the behest of Congressmen.

Notwithstanding his lack of administrative experience, Chouhan is known to discharge his duties in various capacities
within the party right from the start of his political career in 1977 as a RSS Swayamsewak and state ABVP organising

Considered to carry the RSS flag within the BJP, the saffron leader had played active roles in party's election campaigns, including the 2003 assembly polls and the 2004 general elections.

Since BJP had won the last assembly election by projecting Bharti as the Chief Minister, the party seems to have pinned hopes on Chouhan for repeating the win during next polls.

Party believes that his determined moves and wise decision as state BJP president, also makes him an able candidate to control allegedly growing inertia in the bureaucratic circles.

Apart from a row over a warehouse constructed in the name of his wife within prohibited limits of a historical monument in Vidisha, Chouhan has by-and-large been out of any major controversy during his tenure as state party president.

His role in keeping down the revolt and maintaining discipline among party workers had been lauded by senior party leaders on several occasions.

An avid lover of music and movies, Chouhan had managed to gain a large fan-following in rural areas especially through his keen interest in sports and cultural activities, apart from ability to grasp the pulse of common man and raising voices for the masses.

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