Rewind 2015: Madhya Pradesh newsmakers
In 2015, in the run up to his 10th year in office, Shivraj Singh Chouhan battled his biggest political crisis, with the opposition accusing him of being a part of the Vyapam scam.bhopal Updated: Dec 31, 2015 18:43 IST
Shivraj Singh Chouhan
In 2015, in the run up to his 10th year in office, Shivraj Singh Chouhan battled his biggest political crisis, with the opposition accusing him of being a part of the Vyapam scam. His government initially evaded a CBI inquiry into the scam but eventually agreed to it after the national media took up the story of the death of a journalist covering the scam. The CM completed 10 years in office and became the longest-serving CM of MP till date.
The Indore BJP strongman was elevated to the position of the national general secretary -- a promotion his supporters dubbed as a sign of the ‘change’ to come in the BJP leadership. Vijayvargiya ensured he was in the news through his tweets and statements, with Shah Rukh Khan being one of his victims.
The 15-year-old Pakistani boy who crossed into India from Bangladesh and was found in Bhopal by the police, says that he wants to go back to his mother. Despite efforts, even by the external affairs minister, Ramzan remains in a shelter home in Bhopal. While Geeta — an Indian girl in Pakistan — returned to India, Ramzan hopes to go back home in 2016.
Sudhir Kumar Sahi
The chief of MP police’s special task force (STF) continued to be the most talked-about cop in the state while handling the Vyapam scam in the first three quarters of the year. With the case now with the CBI, it’s been a relaxed last quarter in 2015 for the 1988-batch IPS officer. The low-profile police officer has not been in the news lately but could be up for an important assignment in the New Year.
The former Union minister made a comeback to Parliament in 2015 from the Ratlam Lok Sabha constituency — a seat he had lost in 2014. During the by-elections, Bhuria single-handedly fought the Ratlam Lok Sabha by-election against the might of the state government and with a divided Congress being of no help to him. If the Congress does make a comeback in the state, Bhuria’s victory will be seen as a starting point.
The former CM led the attack on CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan in connection with the Vyapam scam in the first part of 2015 and pursued the demand for a CBI inquiry into the scam. He did not succeed in various courts but the death of a journalist covering the scam changed everything and the government agreed to a CBI inquiry, giving Singh a political victory. Political watchers said that the attacks made the CM upset and brought the otherwise-cordial relationship between the two to its lowest point ever.
Dr Anand Rai, Ashish Chaturvedi and Prashant Pandey (in pic) became known as Vyapam whistleblowers in 2015. Pandey remained in the news for claiming that the original hard disk of one of the accused had been tampered with, while Rai and Chaturvedi pointed to the involvement of political bigwigs in the scam. The Congress hailed them while the BJP accused them of being politically-motivated.
Late MN Buch
Padma Bhushan MN Buch — Bhopal’s conscience keeper in many ways — passed away in June. The former civil servant was an expert in urban planning and modern Bhopal owes many things to him. Former PM Manmohan Singh, LK Advani and Sheila Dixit paid glowing tributes to late Buch at a memorial in Delhi.
Tigers around Bhopal
The state capital, this year, became the only city in the country to have resident wild tigers within 10 kms of habitation — one of them even breaking into an agriculture training institute. Two others tigers were regularly spotted in the Kerwa and Kaliasot areas in the peripheries of the capital city throughout the year. The forest department was unclear about to capture them or let them be free. There are said to be nine tigers in the forests adjoining the city, with one or the other getting photographed by local residents every few days.