|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Shivraj Chouhan, a music lover and movie buff
November 29, 2005 03:22 IST
For Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was elected leader of Madhya Pradesh Legislature Party on Monday, it has been a long and arduous journey to the crowning glory as he prepares to take over as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.
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.
Known for his captivating speeches, the BJP Lok Sabha MP from Vidisha held numerous posts in BJP, including general secretary of the 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 the 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 fiery sanyasin Uma Bharti's supporters who had been mounting pressure for her return at the helm.
His selection puts an end to months of vigorous campaign by Bharti loyalists, including MLAs and state ministers, for removal of outgoing chief minister Babu Lal 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 secretary.
Considered to carry the RSS flag within the BJP, the saffron leader had played active roles in party's election campaigns, including 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.
The party believes that his determined moves and wise decisions 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.