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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Chouhan wins reprieve from BJP leadership for now

Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 26, 2014
First Published: 00:08 IST(26/6/2014) | Last Updated: 11:44 IST(26/6/2014)

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan - the BJP's face who has won it two elections in a row - seems to have survived, for now, the crisis over the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board scam.

BJP sources indicate a change of guard in the state was unlikely immediately but admitted that the graft taint had put him under scanner. "There are no immediate plans to remove him. Party seniors will look into the details of the matter. Any action will be based on facts," a top BJP leader told HT.

Meanwhile, Chouhan briefed the party brass about the charges against him, the evidences that reportedly clear him of the charges, the immediate steps he took to nab culprits and the state leaders who are said to be fuelling the campaign against him.

His rise in the state politics, which edged out many seniors, is seen as an eye-sore to a section of the BJP and RSS leaders, who have unsuccessfully tried in the past to dislodge him.

Read: Doctors, politicians, babus all star in MP's PMT scam

BJP leaders say finding Chouhan's replacement, if need arises, is also not an easy task. Chouhan's immediate task, they say, is to get a close aide appointed as the new president of MP BJP so as it does not lead to the creation of another faction in the state. Incumbent chief Narendra Singh Tomar, a confidant of Chouhan, has joined the union cabinet.

A close aide of the CM claimed all records relating to Congress' accusation show that Chouhan was clean.

Read: Chouhan makes Delhi trip as scam dents his image

Chouhan had on Tuesday filed a defamation case against a Congress leader for dragging his wife, Sadhna Singh, into the scam. Former minister Laxmikant Sharma and many others have already been arrested after an FIR was lodged in Indore.


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