Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan completed five years in office on Monday as the BJP brass marked the event as Karyakarta Abhinandan (saluting the party cadre) at a grand gathering in Bhopal.
Party chief Nitin Gadkari and other senior leaders including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Rajnath Singh showered praise on Chouhan and projected him as a rising face in the BJP.
Advani endorsed his low-profile yet successful politics. “All activists should not just appreciate but emulate the Shivraj’s government.” he said.
Hoping that Chouhan stays chief minister for the next 10-15 years, Rajnath and Ananth Kumar indicated that he remain a regional hero for the party rather than a potential “national” figure. The party leaders used the opportunity to describe the Bihar polls as a turning point for the BJP and also for the NDA’s fortunes, with governance and cadre-based politics taking over Hindutva as key mantras.
“Sushma Swaraj told me that when the Congress won just five of 90 seats in Haryana in 1977, Devi Lal said the voters had given the Congress corpse four shoulders for the funeral procession and a fifth person to cry over the party’s demise,” Advani said while addressing the gathering of party cadres.
“But in Bihar this time, they have given just four shoulders to carry the Congress’s dead body but none to cry.” he added.
Jaitley gave a call for a “strengthened NDA”.
“The country is looking for an alternative to the UPA. Madhya Pradesh, Chhhattisgarh and Gujarat have proved that BJP governments give good governance,” Jaitley said.
Speaker after speaker attacked UPA for corruption, bad governance and painted the Congress as a “dynastic party” in which a kisan ka beta (farmer’s son) like Chouhan or a sadharan karyakarta (common activist) like Nitin Gadkari could never rise up in ranks.