Amid suspense over future role, Shivraj to meet Nadda in Delhi

Will undertake any responsibility the party has to offer, says the former Chief Minister

Updated - December 18, 2023 08:49 pm IST

Published - December 18, 2023 08:08 pm IST - Bhopal

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav with former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan during first day of 16th State Assembly Session in Bhopal on Monday.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav with former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan during first day of 16th State Assembly Session in Bhopal on Monday. | Photo Credit: A.M. FARUQUI

Amid various speculations about what his future in politics would look like, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is scheduled to meet Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president J.P. Nadda in New Delhi on December 19.

Mr. Chouhan, who helmed the State for more than 16 years, was replaced with the current Chief Minister Mohan Yadav on December 11, after the BJP retained power in Madhya Pradesh with a massive majority of 163 seats.

Mr. Chouhan, who took oath as an MLA in the State Assembly, said he would undertake any responsibility the party would give him.

“I have said this always that the BJP is a mission and when you work in a mission, you don’t decide what you will do but the mission (itself) decides,” he said, when asked about the visit after Monday’s Assembly session.

He, however, said that there were a few issues close to him such as environment, women and child empowerment, and he would continue to work for them.

A leader who cannot be ignored

After stepping down from the CM’s post, Mr. Chouhan has remained active in the State and has been meeting women across M.P. Various purported videos also surfaced on the internet in which women were seen sobbing over his departure from the government. Mr. Chouhan was also seen getting emotional in some videos.

During these meetings, Mr. Chouhan has also given various statements hinting that he is not retiring any time soon. “I am not going anywhere,” he was heard saying in one such video.

“The relations of brother-sister and mama-bhanja (uncle-nephew) are of trust and love. So, this bond is natural. Initially, you feel more emotional but it’s like a phase and people forget it with time but the relations will remain,” he said at the Assembly.

Mr. Chouhan’s bond with the women voters of the State and his welfare schemes for women like the Ladli Behna and Ladli Lakshmi are credited for the BJP’s performance in the recent polls and beating a nearly two-decade-long anti-incumbency. 

A source in the State BJP said the meeting between Mr. Chouhan and the high command is likely to see discussions on his future roles.

“He is a leader who cannot be ignored. The party will have to utilise him in future and give him a post as per his stature whether it is a place in the Union Cabinet or in the organisation,” the source told The Hindu.

Cabinet expansion in the cards

The meeting also comes two days after current Mr. Yadav and various senior leaders from the State called on Mr. Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Apart from Mr. Yadav, leaders who attended the Sunday evening meeting at Mr. Nadda’s residence in Delhi included deputy CMs Jagdish Devda and Rajendra Shukla, State BJP president V.D. Sharma, Speaker-nominate Narendra Singh Tomar, State unit general secretary (organisation) Hitanand, BJP national general secretary and new MLA Kailash Vijayvargiya, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Union Minister and newly-elected MLA Prahlad Singh Patel.

A BJP insider said that Mr. Yadav is likely to expand his Cabinet shortly and that a list has been “almost finalised in Delhi”. “The list was almost finalised on Sunday itself but it is not yet clear who all have made the cut,” he said, adding that it is likely to be made public in a day or two everything goes well.

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