"PM Narendra Modi Is God's Gift To India": Shivraj Singh Chouhan To NDTV

Asked about Rahul Gandhi's impending visit to Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that he would welcome the Congress chief.

Congress is a party of 'rajas' and 'udyogpati', Shivraj Singh Chouhan said

Katni, Madhya Pradesh:

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, running for a record fourth consecutive term, has told NDTV that he sees no opposition from a resurgent Congress party. 

"The Congress is a party of 'rajas' (kings) and 'udyogpati' (industrialists)," he said, referring to Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and Kamal Nath. Notorious for their factional wars, the two Congress leaders are said to have patched up.

Mr Chouhan and his BJP are unconcerned. 

"They don't understand the problems of the public. They considered the public their praja. I am considered a brother or a mama (uncle) by the people of the state," he said. 

Asked about Congress President Rahul Gandhi's impending visit to the state, Mr Chouhan said that he would welcome the Congress chief. "I welcome him and I hope that he stays in Madhya Pradesh throughout the elections," he said, with a tinge of humour. 

Mr Chouhan spoke to NDTV during a statewide election yatra, or road show. The state is due for elections later this year. 

In 2013, the chief minister was plagued by serious allegations of corruption in the Vyapam scam, centering around fraud in examinations for government jobs. But a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI exonerated him, leading to allegations of influence on the investigating agency. 

But Mr Chouhan denies this.

"The truth is that I unearthed the Vyapam scam. Scams like these was common during Congress' time. The way jobs were distributed (at that time), there was no system of exams. I made a system, it was caught because there was a system," he told NDTV.

Mr Chouhan also faces the prospect of farmer unrest after five farmers were killed in police firing in the Mandsaur region of the state last year, while protesting against inadequate prices for their crops. 

"It was not a farmers' protest", he said. But he also went on to add that it was the most tragic moment of his three-term chief ministership.

He ruled out any prime ministerial aspirations, saying he is only limited to his state. 

About Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said "Modiji is god's gift to India."

"I have never seen someone so passionate about India's progress, and the development and welfare of the public. He's ideal for us," he said.

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