Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan will be campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party and former CM Uma Bharti for the scheduled assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.
Along with former CM Digvijay Singh of the Congress, the Uttar Pradesh elections will therefore see the involvement of three Madhya Pradesh Chief Ministers.
“Yes, I will go to UP in February in order to campaign for the party”, Mr. Chauhan told journalists here Saturday.
“I will also be campaigning in Charkhari on the request of Uma Bharti ji,” he said.
After Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Mr. Chauhan will be the second BJP chief minister to campaign in UP.
According to local media reports, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh is also being considered by the party as a potential campaigner in order to use the electorally successful “trinity” of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Chief Ministers, who have all scored successive electoral victories in the assembly polls in their respective States.
In an interaction with national media representatives at his residence, Mr. Chauhan also highlighted the need to punish corrupt officials and politicians within a reasonable time frame.
“There is hardly any justice in arresting and prosecuting former telecom minister Sukhram now for a scam that occurred nearly two decades ago,” said Mr. Chauhan.
“The anti-corruption special courts bill of passed by the Madhya Pradesh assembly has provisions to punish the guilty within one year, including confiscation of their properties and using them for public purposes. But the bill is pending with President of India,” he said.
The Chief Minister said he had met President Pratibha Patil and Home Minister P. Chidambaram and had urged them to clear the bill as soon as possible.
On the question of bad roads in the State, Mr. Chauhan put the blame on the central government.
“Bad roads is not an issue in Madhya Pradesh. It is the poor condition of national highways that is an issue,” he said, adding that his government had asked the centre to de-notify certain national highways so that the State government could take care of them.
When asked about the controversial practices of Surya Namaskar and distribution of RSS magazine Devputra in government schools with state funding, Mr. Chauhan said he saw nothing wrong in it.