In the wake of growing clamour for the post of Prime Minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ruled out that he was anywhere in the race.
Talking to Hindustan Times during his Jan Ashirvad Yatra in Manawar, Chouhan said for him the work of chief minister was more important than the Prime Minister’s and it provided one “to be in direct touch with people.”
“Frankly speaking, a CM can do direct work for the people while he has a broader work from handling internal to external security to framing economic policies. For me, Madhya Pradesh is like one large family and people’s expectations have increased. I need to address them,” he said when asked if the leaders of his generation should take over the reins of the country.
“At times, when I am moving, I come across people, listen to their problems and frame policies accordingly,” he said.
He, however, was quick to add that any decision with regard to national leadership will be taken by the party.
“I want to do service for MP which is a family for me,” he said.
Sounding confident of a ‘thumping victory’ in the forthcoming assembly elections, Chouhan lauded the work of all legislators.
“Our MLAs are doing good work but party will decide who is to be given ticket. Party has its own way to assess the winnability,” he said and ruled out from predicting the number of seats the party is eyeing. “Assessing seats would not be wise,” he said.
The chief minister said days were gone when one could win elections through 'management fundas'. “One has to perform and showcase the development, which we have done,” he said.
Spelling out his priorities, Chouhan said even though the state has attained double-digit growth rate, the agriculture production has increased, the per capita income has more than tripled, a lot needed to be done.
“MP was so backward more effort is needed. It gives satisfaction but more is required,” he said.
With this aim in view Chouhan said that he wished to increase irrigated area further from 25000 lakh hectare; more power, more connectivity to villages, making agriculture a profession of profit, creation of more jobs through industries and investment and giving facilities to BPL, would be his top priority.
Peeved by personal attacks, Chouhan said these attacks showed the frustration of Congress leaders.
“I did not cross limits but opposition has made the politics dirty. One needs to be shown a mirror,” he said on his recent attacks on Congress leaders.
Chouhan didn’t mince words in criticizing Congress-led UPA government at Centre and said, “At times I wonder if there was a government worth a name there. Everybody seems to be singing his own tune.”
“Country needs a strong government. Tell me which policy is correct – internal, foreign policy, naxal, there is no government worth name. On internal security they failed. On Naxal issue some say do this, some suggest harsh steps, some prefer talk. There is no specific line of action. I respect PM. But he seems helpless,” he said.