By L S Herdenia
BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is waging a war on several fronts. The fronts include controlling the spread of Covid-19, contesting a prestigious bye-election in the state and also visiting various states to support the BJP candidates.
Damoh will soon go to polls. The contest here is very interesting. This seat got vacated because of the resignation of the Congress legislator, Rahul Lodhi. The Congress legislator defected to support BJP to enable it to form government. The Congress legislator won the seat during general election by defeating Jayant Malliya, a very senior Minister in the then Chouhan government. But later the Congress legislator not only defected but also resigned from the Vidhan Sabha. His resignation caused the vacancy.
The BJP leadership decided to give ticket to the former Congress legislator for the by-poll. This decision evoked sharp reaction in local rank and file. The most vehement opposition came from Malliya who has been winning the seat for decades. Not only Jayant Malliya but entire family is rated strong BJP loyalist. During the process of selection, Malliya threatened revolt. The party leadership had to make herculean effort to persuade Malliya to fall in line. Only the result will show whether his reconciliation was genuine or not. The Congress on its part sponsored Ajay Tandon. Ajay belongs to the family which has been loyal to the Congress since many decades. Several members of Tandon family have won this seat.
Apart the challenge posed by this by election, the chief minister faces the tough task of controlling corona infections in the state.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday staged a road show in Bhopal urging people to follow the Covid-19 protocol. Standing in an open vehicle, Chouhan appealed to people to wear mask, observe social distancing and frequently wash hands and sanitize them. The road show began from Anand Nagar and ended in Bairagarh.
“Meri Suraksha Mera Mask. Mask lagaiyein Korona Ko Haraiyein,” (My mask is my protection. Put on mask to defeat Corona. Humanity will win over Corona), he told people during the road show.
The Chief Minister further said that it’s social responsibility of each and everyone to participate in the fight against Corona virus. He said that fight against Corona could only be won with the cooperation of the people. “Join the battle yourself and motivate others to join the ranks of Corona fighters,” he said.
The Chief Minster said that Corona virus infection is growing rapidly in Madhya Pradesh. There are arrangements for treatment in hospitals but effort should be not to allow it to spread. For this, everyone should wear masks and follow other covid-19 protocols, he said.
He further said that lockdown was not solution to Corona virus crisis. It damages the economy. Business and industry is affected and people lose jobs and livelihood. We don’t want lockdown but for this, we all will have to be cautions and observe the Corona guidelines.
In what he termed as “Swasthya Agraha” (Request for good health), Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Tuesday sat in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Minto Hall for 24 hours to motivate people of the state to adapt themselves to appropriate behavior for protection from Covid-19.
Speaking to media on the occasion, Chouhan said that April 6 is a historic and a holy day. It was on this day that Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March had ended and the BJP was formed. It is a happy coincidence that on 6 April, we are sitting in front of Gandhi statue for “Swasthya Agraha”.
“Mahatma Gandhi liberated the country by Satyagraha. PM Narenda Modi cleaned the country through ‘Swachch Agraha’. In this sequence, today I am in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue for ‘Swachch Agraha’,” he said.
Chouhan informed that a cabinet meeting will also be held to control Corona infection during the “Swasthya Agraha” event. Besides, a discussion will also be held with prominent people, business organisations, volunteer groups, people associated with the education industry, transportation, Corona volunteers roadside vendors form various parts of the state.
The Chief Minister said that a healthy body is the first joy. Corona infection has affected the country and the whole world.
This is a disease that can’t be controlled only by efforts made by the government. This battle can’t be won without the cooperation of the society, as the infection only spreads due to people not adhering to appropriate behavior suggested in the light of Corona virus pandemic.
“I am here today to make a moral request to the society. Presently, people of the state are not in the habit of wearing a mask. It is true that the rate of Corona virus infection in the country had come down. Besides, the advent of the vaccine has made people become reckless due to which the infection once again started spreading rapidly. The CM said that lockdown is a simple way to prevent infection. But lockdown can destroy our economy. People will become unemployed. “I do not consider lockdown to be the right situation. Limited lockdown is fine, permanent lockdown is not the solution to prevent infection,” he said. (IPA Service)