Shivraj Chouhan On BJP Odds, His 18-Hour Work Day, Congress 'Rout' In 2024

The BJP, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, will win all 29 parliamentary seats in Madhya Pradesh.


A record loss for senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, a record victory for the BJP and the fall of the Congress's last citadel, Chhindwara -- former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan appeared more than confident about his party's performance in the coming Lok Sabha election.

The BJP, he said, will win all 29 parliamentary seats in Madhya Pradesh. That includes Rajgarh, from where Digvijaya Singh is contesting, as well as Chhindwara, Kamal Nath's constituency from where the Congress has fielded his son Nakul Nath.

"Rajgarh has been breached, you have to see that Digvijay Singh ji will lose with record votes, his magic is not working there," Mr Chouhan told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

About Kamal Nath, he said the former Chief Minister's "credibility is in serious danger and many people thought that if he is leaving then we should also follow him". Many of them did finally join the BJP.

About these newcomers, Mr Chouhan said those who wish to join the "movement of national reconstruction" are welcome. "Congress workers are disappointed, now that there is nothing left in the Congress -- neither leader, nor policy, nor direction," he added.

Mr Chouhan has much to be proud of about the BJP's spectacular performance in the assembly elections. Though the four-time Chief Minister was not offered the top job again, he now has his task cut out. Mr Chouhan is the BJP's star campaigner in the state he knows like the back of his hand.

The 64-year-old is out at 8 am and is never back before 2 in the night. It is a tough ask, but Mr Chouhan has the experience. Ahead of the last assembly election, he addressed more than 160 rallies throughout the state in roughly 37 days.

His campaign for the Lok Sabha elections is a meticulously planned endeavor, designed to connect with voters at every level. From bustling city centers to remote villages, he criss-crosses his constituency along with the rest of the state, addressing public gatherings, interacting with locals, and listening to their concerns. His oratory skills, coupled with a deep understanding of grassroots issues, allow him to strike a chord with diverse audiences.

As the Lok Sabha elections approach, Mr Chouhan's campaign resonates with promises of progress, development, and unwavering commitment to the people of Madhya Pradesh.

Asked about the possible outcome of the election, Mr Chouhan said, Narendra Modi ji resides in the hearts of the people of Madhya Pradesh, people do not just consider him as a leader, they look at him with reverence and devotion".

Mr Chouhan said he is not worried about his own seat, given the "love and blessings" of the people he has received over the last three terms. "The entire Lok Sabha constituency in the state is my family and that is why I go everywhere," he said.

The veteran leader is contesting from Vidisha – a constituency he represented five times before becoming the Chief Minister in November 2005. Currently, he is the MLA from the Budhni assembly seat, which is under the Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency.

His opponent is Pratap Bhanu Sharma from Congress. On how Mr Sharma had challenged him earlier as well, Mr Chouhan said, "I respect the dignity of every person, he has been an MP twice before, I respect him too".

In a political career spanning decades, Mr Chouhan has held various significant positions within the BJP, including three consecutive terms as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.