All's Not Well in MP Saffron Camp? Former CM & BJP Chief Call Separate Anti-Govt Stirs over Flood Relief

Bhopal: Even as political bickering continued in Madhya Pradesh over floods and relief work in affected areas, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seemed to be a divided lot.

Last week, senior party leader and former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while cornering the Congress on various issues, had announced the launch of an agitation if immediate relief efforts for flood-hit farmers were not taken up by the state government. Soon after, he started to visit affected areas, mainly Mandsaur and Neemuch, where he met flood victims.

However, state BJP president Rakesh Singh has said the saffron camp would launch a constituency-wise demonstration on September 20.

This announcement immediately sparked off rumours of tussles within the state BJP unit. The party’s media coordinator, Lokendra Parashar, said while Chouhan had said he would take to the streets against the plight of farmers in three places, Singh has called for a statewide agitation after consulting senior leaders.

Singh later said as the Congress dispensation was not doing enough to help the distressed farmers, the party had decided to protest in all the Assembly constituencies on September 20.

This is not the first time when Chouhan has found himself on a different page with the state party unit. After tasting defeat in the 2018 Assembly elections, Chouhan had said he would take out an ‘Abhar yatra (gratitude rally) across the state, but had to drop his plan after the party leadership did not find merit in the proposal.

Also, despite expressing his unwillingness to work beyond the state, the party high command appointed him as national vice-president. The party even entrusted him with the responsibility of increasing membership numbers across the country.

During the budget session of the MP Assembly, the Congress had repeatedly raised allegations of a power struggle in the opposition camp among Chouhan, Leader of Opposition Gopal Bhargav, and BJP MLA and former minister Narottam Mishra.