BJP made me CM for 18 years, where’s the injustice, asks Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Denies reports that he is upset about being replaced, says he will keep supporting new CM Mohan Yadav

December 12, 2023 09:49 pm | Updated 11:26 pm IST - Bhopal

Supporters meet outgoing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal on December 12, 2023.

Supporters meet outgoing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal on December 12, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

A day, after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) replaced him as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan on December 12, said that he would “rather prefer to die” than ask something for himself. 

Addressing a press conference at the official CM’s residence a day before CM-designate Mohan Yadav’s swearing-in ceremony, Mr. Chouhan said the new government under Mr. Yadav’s leadership will work for the development of the State. “And, I will always keep supporting him,” he said. 

On December 11, the BJP elected Mr. Yadav as the leader of its legislature party to be the next CM of Madhya Pradesh. The party’s government will also have two deputy CMs — Rajendra Shukla and Jagdish Devda. Former Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will be the Assembly Speaker. 

Mr. Chouhan, referring to one of his statements following the election victory regarding him not going to Delhi, said, “You must remember the context of [what I said] the other day. You had asked me that they (other contenders of the CM post) are in Delhi, will you also go?”

“I say this with extreme humility. I would rather prefer to die than go and ask something for myself. This is not my job,” said the outgoing CM, who has helmed the State government since 2005, barring a 15-month period from December 2018 to March 2020 when the Congress was in power in the State. 

Mr. Chouhan, however, denied reports that he was upset over not being made the CM again.

“This is a very lousy mindset that where will I go? A man crying all the time saying that injustice has been done to him cannot do anything. Where is injustice? I am making this clear today. The BJP made a normal worker [referring to himself] CM for 18 years, now it’s my time to give back to the party. Why can’t this be the mindset?” he said, responding to a question about his future plans. 

He said that he will undertake any responsibility that the party will entrust him with. “The BJP is a mission, there is some work for every worker. I will do whatever work is given to me, he said.

‘Happy with mandate’

Mr. Chouhan also said that he had a “sense of satisfaction” as he bids farewell from the government. “Today, when I take farewell from here, I am satisfied that I will go after bringing in a massive majority government that got 48.55% votes, the highest ever,” he said, adding.

“When we got the State, it was a backward and bimaru (ailing) State. I am satisfied that we have come a long way with respect to development and growth,” he said, highlighting the various welfare- and women-centric schemes launched during his tenure such as the Ladli Behna Scheme, Ladli Lakshmi Scheme as well as the 33% reservation for women in government jobs.

“Women empowerment is not a way to get votes for me,” he said. 

The 64-year-old leader also said that he has requested the new CM to provide him government land so that he can continue to plant trees. It is known that Mr. Chouhan planted a tree every day wherever he was in the State.

He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP’s central leadership for supporting him during his tenure.  Mr. Chouhan also apologised to the people if any of his decisions ever hurt them.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Chouhan met several women supporters. A video showed some women weeping and hugging him while saying that they “will not leave him”. “I am also not going anywhere,” he is heard saying.

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