Chouhan to campaign for Uma in UP polls

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will not only campaign in Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, but also in Charkari next month in favour of his once bete noire, Uma Bharti.

"Umaji is definitely a big national leader and I also spoke to her. She asked me to campaign in Uttar Pradesh as well as in Charkari," Chouhan told mediapersons here.

"I will be going for campaigning in the first week of February and the exact dates will be worked out by the party later on," he said.

Bharti, who has been fielded from the assembly seat in Bundelkhand for the UP polls, left BJP after Chouhan was made the Chief Minister following which she had floated her new party, Bhartiya Janshakti.

On the issue of Salman Rushdie not being given permission to take part in the Jaipur Literary Festival, Chouhan in a guarded response said, "I am in favour of freedom of speech. But one has to ensure that it should not cause any hurt to others."

"May be, the security of the author could also be the reason behind the decision," Chouhan said refusing to further comment on the issue.

To a question on Surya Namaskar, he said it is being performed in the state since 2007-08 and not a new development.

It is an exercise aimed at keeping one fully fit and if someone does not want to do it then there is no compulsion for him or her to take part in it.