Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Amid murmurs of rivalry brewing between Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi, BJP`s poll panel chief is missing from the posters put up for Madhya Pradesh CM`s Jan Aashirwad Yatra.
The posters that have been put up for the yatra has veteran leader LK Advani, party chief Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. However, a closer look reveals that Gujarat CM is nowhere to seen in the same posters.
Chouhan, who is seeking a third term in office, is expected to cover 224 Assembly constituencies and travel a distance of 8,000 km, as per state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar. Elections in MP are due later this year.
The state BJP president had earlier told reporters that the yatra should be seen as a prelude to the `Maha Kumbh` of BJP workers scheduled to be held on September 25.
Before the 2008 Assembly elections, Chouhan had embarked on a similar Yatra which was flagged off in the presence of many BJP leaders including LK Advani.
Narendra Modi too after being elevated as his party`s election committee chief is travelling around the country addressing rallies and party workers. BJP president, Rajnath Singh has been all praises for Modi terming him as the most popular leader in the country.
Earlier, in the backdrop of Uttarakhand floods tragedy, Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said that no one should indulge in politics in times of disaster and that everyone should get together to rebuild the hill state.
Shivraj Singh Chouhan had tweeted, "Apart from rescuing pilgrims from MP, our rescue teams have rescued 1810 pilgrims from various states without any discrimination." In another post he said, "I would re-emphasise the fact that there shouldn`t be any politics in such a disaster. We all should work together to rebuild Uttarakhand."
This was seen in certain quarters as taking a dig at Narendra Modi, who had been in the line of fire at that time for apparently claiming to have saved 15,000 Gujaratis from Uttarakhand.
Chouhan has been time and again asked by the media whether he too is a potential prime ministerial candidate of the BJP. However, he has always refuted the matter saying that all he wanted was to serve the people of his state and that any decision regarding the PM candidate will be taken by the BJP parliamentary board.
Not too long ago, party patriarch LK Advani, while comparing Modi to Chouhan had said that the MP CM deserved to get more credit for the developmental work than his counterpart from Gujarat. Advani had said that Chouhan had attempted to turn around a state that was under-developed, unlike Gujarat which was already developed when Modi had taken over.
This too was seen as an attempt by Advani, who had resigned from all party posts after Modi was made BJP`s poll panel chief, to back Chouhan and downplay the Gujarat CM`s achievement.
Later, clarifying what Advani had said Shivraj Singh Chouhan told mediapersons that not much should be read into the statement. "Advani ji praised all chief ministers. It should not be taken otherwise," he said.
Virtually ruling himself out of the race for prime ministership, Chouhan had said then, “I stand at number 3. Narendra Modi at number 1 and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh at number 2.”