‘Friendship in Delhi, wrestling in states’, Chouhan takes jibe at I.N.D.I.A

Vidisha: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan being felicitated during a public meeting in Sironj Assembly constituency, in Vidisha district, Friday, Oct. 20, 2023. (PTI Photo) (PTI10_20_2023_000143A)

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday took a dig at the INDIA bloc after its constituents fielded candidates against each other in assembly polls, saying the opposition grouping is driven by the motto of “friendship in Delhi and wrestling in states”.

INDIA members Congress, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have separately announced candidates for the November 17 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, clearly indicating the bloc is not working at state-level.

Upset with the Congress for not conceding any seat so far for the SP in Madhya Pradesh, its president chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday hinted the grand old party could get the same treatment from his outfit in Uttar Pradesh.
In stinging remarks that exposed chinks in the opposition INDIA grouping, Yadav said the Congress leadership should not allow its “small leaders” to comment on his party.

The SP and the AAP have announced candidates on multiple seats for polls in the BJP-ruled state, which has a 230-member assembly. Latching on to apparent cracks in the recently formed bloc of more than two dozen parties, Chouhan dubbed it an incoherent coalition and called it ‘ghamandia’ (arrogant).

“We have been saying from day one that this is a ‘bemail gathbandhan (out of sync coalition). It is like friendship in Delhi (Centre), and wrestling in states. Neither their views are similar nor their hearts are at the same place. It is falling apart because of the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the BJP leader said in a statement issued to the media. He said SP president Yadav has said the Congress kept him in the dark for a year and later “ditched” his party over allocation of seats.

Chouhan remarked the Congress, the SP and the AAP are fighting against each other in Madhya Pradesh and wondered what kind of grouping is INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance). “People are surprised with their behaviour. When they (INDIA constituents) are fighting against each other in states, what will be the future of the country if they get to rule at the Centre?” he asked. Chouhan said fissures developed in INDIA even before the alliance was formally announced and said he sees no future for the bloc.

On Thursday, SP chief Yadav said his party leaders would not have answered calls from the Congress for a meeting in Madhya Pradesh had he known that the INDIA bloc was confined only to the national level (for Lok Sabha polls).

In the 2018 Madhya Pradesh elections, the SP had won one seat — Bijawar — in the Bundelkhand region and finished second in five assembly constituencies. The Mulayam Singh Yadav-founded outfit had secured 1.3 per cent votes in the last MP polls which it fought in alliance with the tribal Gondwana Gantantra Party.