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MP polls: CM Chouhan, Congress’s leader of opposition file nomination papers

Among the chief minister aspirants from the BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, only Chouhan is contesting assembly polls this time.

PTI | Bhopal |

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan Monday filed nomination papers from Budhni seat in Sehore district in the poll-bound state.

MP goes to polls on November 28 and votes will be counted on December 11.

Budhni, over 60 kilometres from here, is Chouhan’s home turf from where he was first elected as MLA in 1990. This would be the fifth time he will be contesting from the seat, close to his ancestral village of Jait in Sehore.

At the time of filing nomination papers, Chouhan was accompanied by his wife, Sadhna Singh, sons Kunal and Kartikey, his election agent Ramakant Bhargava and lawyer Shrey Raj Saxena.

Before arriving to file his nomination papers, Chouhan and family prayed at his clan deity’s temple as well as at the Narmada River, considered holy by Hindus, in Jait village.

Addressing party workers ahead of filing his papers, Chouhan mocked the opposition Congress, out of power in the state since 2003, about the condition of roads during its rule.

“Everybody knows the number of roads constructed during our stint can easily outnumber the number of potholes that existed during the Congress regime,” he claimed.

Urging people to identify those who had pushed the state into “backwardness and darkness”, Chouhan said, “Without taking my name their day is not completed. They did not like the development that took place during my tenure. Therefore, I have become a thorn in their eyes, whether it is raja, maharaja or udyogpati.”

The three monikers are generally used by BJP leaders to refer to former chief minister Digvijaya Singh, Congress poll campaign chief Jyotiraditya Scindia and state MP Congress president Kamal Nath.

A year after becoming an MLA in 1990, Chouhan was elected MP when he won a bypoll from Vidisha constituency in 1991 after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee quit the seat.

Chouhan went on to win Vidisha LS seat in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004.

In 2003, Chouhan unsuccessfully contested assembly polls from Raghogarh in Guna district, against then chief minister Digvijaya Singh.

In 2005, against the backdrop of infighting among state BJP leaders, Chouhan took over as Madhya Pradesh CM and in 2006 contested from Budhni to get elected to the MP Assembly. He beat the Congress’s Rajkumar Patel, a former minister, by a margin of 36,000 votes.

He won from the seat again in 2008 and 2013 assembly polls, defeating the Congress’s Mahesh Singh Rajput and Mahendra Singh Chauhan by a margin of 41,000 and 84,000 votes respectively.

Among the chief minister aspirants from the BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, only Chouhan is contesting assembly polls this time.

Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, both considered claimants to the coveted chair in case of a Congress victory, are Lok Sabha MPs and are unlikely to contest the polls.

State Congress unit president Nath is a nine-time MP from Chhindwara while Scindia represents Guna in Lok Sabha.

Besides Chouhan, several other leaders filed their nomination papers Monday.

These included Leader of Opposition in MP Assembly, Ajay Singh, from his traditional Churhat seat in Sidhi district, state public relations minister Narottam Mishra from Datia and MP finance minister Jayant Malaiya from Damoh.