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2 Days Before MP Goes to Polls, What Does CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan Have To Say?

Shivraj Singh Chouhan said there is a 'familial bond' between him and the public – and that bond is 'unbreakable'.

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Dressed in a teal-coloured half jacket, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was gearing up to meet a group of women – ‘Ladli Behnas’ – when The Quint caught up with him on Wednesday, 15 November, two days before the state goes to polls.

‘Ladli Behna’ – the name of his new scheme – is a term that has become synonymous with the incumbent CM’s election campaign in Madhya Pradesh as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) battles widespread anti-incumbency.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan said there is a 'familial bond' between him and the public – and that bond is 'unbreakable'.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan during an interaction with the women in Bhopal, two days before the polls in Madhya Pradesh.

(Photo: Jamshed Hameed)

As preparations were underway for his interaction later with the women on the eve of Bhai Dooj, Chouhan told The Quint that it is his priority to ensure the “happiness and prosperity” of his “Ladli Behnas.”

“We are confident that the public is with the BJP and we will win an unexpected number of seats in the 2023 elections,” the chief minister said.

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Chouhan Bounces Back

Chouhan, who was reportedly sidelined by the party’s central leaders in the run-up to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections 2023 owing to the anti-incumbency stemming out of his four-term tenure as chief minister, has been running a parallel campaign trying to win the hearts and votes of the electorate. 

Chouhan told The Quint he is ’hopeful’ that the ’Ladli Behna Yojana’ and all his work over the years would ensure his as well as the party’s victory on 3 December. 

“But it’s not about just one scheme. The government’s overall dedication and focus on the development of the state and the support of my beloved people will make us win. I will not rest until I have fulfilled all my promises and the public’s dreams.”
Shivraj Singh Chouhan

The incumbent BJP was looking down and out earlier in the polls when Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, Prahlad Patel, and Faggan Singh Kulaste were fielded in the MP Assembly elections 2023 along with MPs Rakesh Singh, Ganesh Singh, Reeti Pathak, and Uday Pratap Singh, and national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya.

Senior BJP leaders had previously told The Quint that it was a move to counter the anti-incumbency effect against Chouhan as well as a plan to propose several candidates for the top job that will help revitalise the party from within.

But in a last-ditch attempt, Chouhan bounced back with his all-time favourite persona of ‘Mama’. His speeches changed from the aggressive Shivraj style over the last few years to his ‘Behno Ka Bhai and Bhanje-Bhanjiyon ka Mama’ image that once built his pan-MP popularity.

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Today, despite the jittery show of the BJP around six months ago, political experts opine that the BJP has recovered well under him – and the party has bounced back to give a tough fight to the Opposition Congress.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan said there is a 'familial bond' between him and the public – and that bond is 'unbreakable'.

On the question of anti-incumbency, Chouhan told The Quint that there is a 'familial bond' between him and the public of the state and that bond is 'unbreakable'.

(Photo by special arrangement/The Quint)

On the question of anti-incumbency, Chouhan told The Quint that there is a 'familial bond' between him and the public of the state and that bond is 'unbreakable'.

When asked what has changed from the 2018 elections to the 2023 elections, he said:

“We have put our hearts and minds into the development of our electorate and all our schemes are a reflection of that. When I first started as CM, I was dedicated to the betterment of my bhanja-bhanji and the entire public. I have carried the same mission and passion to date. We are ensuring the financial and social empowerment of women through the Ladli Behna scheme and I am confident that I will only step down once I have delivered on my promises.”

As CM Chouhan requested to leave to go for his event, he said, “Jab tak main apni ladli behno ke saare sapne poore nahin kar deta, main kahin nahi jaane wala (I won’t go anywhere till I fulfil all the dreams of my beloved sisters)."

On 17 November, all 230 seats of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly will go to polls and it is expected to be a bipolar fight between the BJP and the Congress. The Congress government was toppled following the defection of Jyotiraditya Scindia and his loyalists from the party to the BJP in 2020.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from elections and madhya-pradesh-election

Topics:  BJP   Congress   Kamal Nath 

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