Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday discreetly avoided coming face to face with Bharatiya Janshakti (BJ) leader Uma Bharti.
In a rare coincidence, Chouhan, leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Jamuna Devi and Uma Bharti all reached Raj Bhavan in short intervals in the morning. Jamuna Devi came with a Congress delegation to present a memorandum to Governor Balram Jakhar on the Office of Profit Amendment Bill. She was followed by Uma Bharti, who came with her supporters to present a memorandum against alleged bungling during the Bada Malehra by-election.
And while Bharti was still in Raj Bhavan, Chouhan’s motorcade arrived. Chouhan came to attend the Universities Coordination Committee meeting. His pilot car sped into Raj Bhavan but rest of the vehicles took a turn and returned as Chouhan probably wanted to avoid confronting Bharti.
Memories of his not-so-pleasant meeting with Bharti at Jaitpura during election campaigning in the Bada Malehra constituency must still be fresh on Chouhan’s mind.
At Jaitpura, Bharti and Chouhan’s public meeting was scheduled on the same day at short intervals. Bharti’s meeting was, however, cancelled by the district administration allegedly without informing her. When her helicopter landed, her pilot was mobbed by BJP workers who had assembled there for the meeting of Chief Minister.
When Chouhan arrived at the meeting venue, a piqued Bharti ‘exhorted’ him to discipline his party cadres and told him not to forget how she had taught him ‘lessons’ of politics.