Dropped from the Madhya Pradesh state cabinet for being 75-plus, former chief minister Babulal Gaur is now the biggest critic of the BJP government in the assembly.
Pushed to another bench in the house now, Gaur has hardly lost any opportunity to corner his government and has been lending his voice to the Opposition’s attack in the first four days of the ongoing session.
On Wednesday, the first working day of the assembly, he accused the government of being “insensitive” to flood-affected people for distributing “soil-mixed” wheat, saying that he himself had found bad quality food being distributed.
The issue was raised by the Congress in the assembly, but the ruling BJP was taken aback when Gaur took over the attack. Later, he also took a jibe at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, saying, “Oh yes, we have happiness ministry.”
On Friday, Gaur was back in action demanding a reply on what kind of Metro trains would be run in Bhopal and Indore, and his target was Maya Singh, who was recently appointed as the urban development minister.
“Reply to my question or allow me to respond to them from your seat,” the 86-year-old former minister slammed, taking the ruling party by surprise. Singh was quick to blame Gaur for the delay in Metro projects as he headed the department when the “projects were being conceptualised”.
As Gaur shifted the blame to the finance department for the delay, Singh got a quick pat from forest minister Gaurishankar Shejwar.
But Gaur was not amused as he projected poor pace of work in the government by saying that he and many others in the house may not be alive to see the first metro train running in these cities.
In all this, the Congress legislators could be seen backing Gaur to the hilt and having a last laugh as they enjoyed verbal duels between ministers and former chief minister Gaur.
A Congress deputy leader in assembly Bala Machchan described the government’s latest critic Gaur as “real” barometer of the government’s performance as he is “bolstering the people’s voice against this non-performing government and ultimately helping the cause of opposition parties, including the Congress”.