2 celebrations in MP, 2 yardsticks: One cancelled, other still on

  • Ranjan, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2015 18:07 IST
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during a mahapanchayat of the Mantralaya’s clerical staff in Bhopal on Friday. (Bidesh Manna/HT photo)

Two celebrations — one cancelled “due to farmers’ plight” and the other is still on, prompting Opposition to question the state government’s decision to celebrate Madhya Pradesh Foundation Day on November 1, in a grand manner.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced a few days back in Mandala that the November 29 celebration to mark completion of his 10 years in office would not be held in view of the farmers’ plight.

However, there were speculations within party circles that it was because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah turning down the ruling party’s request to attend the celebration that it was cancelled.

It was on November 29, 2005, when Chouhan took over as chief minister replacing party’s veteran Babulal Gaur amidst a fierce rebellion by stalwart Uma Bharti who did not want to see Chouhan as the chief minister.

While the BJP state unit was planning a grand celebration to mark the occasion in a bid to endorse Chouhan’s command over the government and the party, something happened after CM’s visit to Delhi to meet the PM.

Soon anxiety was writ large on the faces of the party leaders, particularly state BJP president Nandkumar Singh Chauhan.

The formal declaration came a few days later when the CM himself announced that due to farmers’ plight in the state, he was not willing to celebrate completion of his 10 years in office.

However, the same farmers’ plight seems to have gone unnoticed by the government in celebrating Madhya Pradesh Foundation Day on November 1.

Like previous years, a musical programme called “the Roshans” will be the main feature of the celebration at Bhopal to be preceded by the chief minister’s speech.

“This shows the double standard of the state government and goes to suggest that farmers’ plight was not the reason behind the cancellation of November 29 programme, but internal bickering within the BJP,” senior Congress leader Manak Agrawal said.

Manak, the former Congress media in-charge, said the November 1 celebration can be held in a simple manner and extravaganza should be avoided. The money being spent on the functions on the day, could have been used for farmers’ relief.

However, state BJP media in-charge Hitesh Bajpai said, “November 1 is an auspicious day for MP as Aug 15 and Jan 26 is for the country,” he said.

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