By L S Herdenia
BHOPAL: Barely nine hour visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah has helped to boost Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s prestige in his party and also in the politics of the state. In the course of his speeches at various programmes in Bhopal Shah paid rich tributes to Chouhan. Amit Shah said “Chouhan has made a special contribution in transforming the state into a developing one from a BIMARU state”.
It appears that the Shah’s visit to Madhya Pradesh has a special objective. The objective seems to be to expand BJP’s base among tribals. It is clear that BJP’s target is to increase tribal votes for 2023 assembly elections. Tribals comprise of 2 crore population in MP and influence 80 of the 230 seats. Forty seven constituencies are tribal reserved. In 2013, BJP won 31 tribal reserved but in 2018, tribal voters swung to Congress and BJP only got 16 seats. Having learnt its lesson, BJP is trying to woo tribal voters back. Few months back Prime Minister also addressed a huge congregation of tribals in Bhopal.
Former CM Kamal Nath took a dig at the home minister’s visit to the state. “Amit Shah is welcome to Madhya Pradesh. He needs to come and see the bad conditions that prevails here. The ‘kalakari’ that is happening here and how people are being betrayed. Every section of society is distraught and only announcements are made by the government. They are acting and think people do not understand. People are very sensible these days, they understand everything” he said.
One aspect of Shah’s visit deserves special mention. The reception which was accorded to him was of the status which is normally accorded to the Prime Minister. Thousands of party workers thronged both sides of the road, waving flags and holding placards on the 4 km from Lal Parade ground to the BJP office.
The convoy reached Deendayal Parisar, the state BJP headquarters, around 5 pm. Priests chanted mantras as Shah entered the office for a meeting with party leaders.
A large police contingent was posted around the building to keep media, party workers and crowds at a distance. The entire area was heavily barricaded. Those who were permitted inside included CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, state party president VD Sharma, Union Ministers Prahlad Patel, Jyotiraditya Scindia, state cabinet ministers Gopal Bhargava and Narottam Mishra, party national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, national general secretary in-charge Murlidhar Rao, Jabalpur MP Rakesh Singh and former Union minister Pankaja Munde.
With assembly elections only 17 months away, Shah spent two hours discussing organisational matters with party leaders. There is one aspect of the Shah’s visit that is importance which was given to Kailash Vijayavargiya in a party function. It was after quite sometime that BJP strongman from Indore was seen on the dais of a public programme organised by the state government or the BJP as well, at least in the state capital.
After according grand reception to Shah and earning kudos from him next day Chouhan went to Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the meeting he discussed wheat export from the state. He also briefed him on development and public welfare projects in MP and sought his guidance.
Chouhan urged the Prime Minister to hold the upcoming ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Divas’ on January 9, 2023 in Indore. It has also been decided to hold the ‘investors’ summit on January 7 and 8, 2023 instead of November 4-6 this year.
Chouhan informed the Prime Minister about the world famous Sharbati and Durum wheat of Madhya Pradesh. “Over 2.4 lakh tones of wheat has been exported. We can export 20 lakh metric tonnes more” he said.
According to a government statement, Egypt wants to import wheat from MP. The CM apprised the PM about the facilities MP government is providing to exporters. On the agriculture diversification policy, Chouhan told the PM that oilseed and cash crops are being promoted in the state so that foreign exchange can be saved by reducing the import of edible oil. While discussing the progress of ethanol policy of the state, Chouhan said that approval letters for 50 crore liters of ethanol production has been issued.
The Chief Minister invited PM to launch the Mahakal Maaharaj Kshetra Expansion Scheme of Ujjain which the PM accepted. Chouhan also requested Modi to virtually launch Madhya Pradesh’s startup policy in May.
The CM apprised PM Modi about the progress of Amrit Sarovar Yojana, where 75 water bodies will be dug in every district, adding up to 3,800 Amrit Sarovars in the state with public participation. On August 15, the flag hoisting ceremony will be held near these Sarovars. (IPA Service)