Bhopal: Farmers, youth and women helped the Shivraj Shingh Chouhan-led BJP government in Madhya Pradesh to retain power.
Chouhan who took over reigns from cabinet colleague Babulal Gaur in 2005 will soon take oath as 19 th chief minister by ensuring a hat-trick win for his party in the state leaving main rival, the Congress far behind.
“I am overwhelmed with this victory, this a victory of trust, faith and love of people which they have reposed in me and my party,” Chouhan said here.
Though Chouhan’s tenure was punctuated by serious accusations of corruption, immoral behaviour and croneyism against his minister, his social engineering schemes like Ladli Laxmi Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojana for women, Mukhya Mantri Swarajgor Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Teerth Darshan Yojana, besides better roads and round-the-clock power helped him muster the support of the voters.
Chouhan’s agricultural policies helped in getting him the support of farmers who had direct access to him.
He managed to replace several sitting MLAs without incurring their wrath as rebel candidates. “Originally we had come on a conclusion that we would have to change 70 sitting candidates, but we could manage only 43 of them,” Ananth Kumar, state poll-incharge and strategist had told BS in an interview. Today he said, “It is hard work that paid, Chouhan transformed the state from a Bimaru (sick) state to Sucharu (developing) state and he has now become a face in India that hard work, simplicity and honesty in politics pays.”
On a disappointing note, few of his cabinet colleagues like Anoop Mishra, Laxmikant Sharma (cultural and public relation minister), and Ramkrishna Kusmaria (agriculture ministers) are reportedly trailing behind their rivals in Congress, however ex-chief minister Babulal Gaur has made it successfully for tenth time in a row.
At personal level, Chouhan has bagged both the seats from his home constituency Budni and Vidisha from where he had decided to contest in a last minute decision.
The party has secured required majority to form the government in the state leaving the Congress far behind
The state witnessed an unprecedented rise in turnout to an average 70% and also a surge (20 million precisely) of young voters in 18-29 years of age bracket. “It contributed a lot to the BJP fold,” a senior political observer told BS