BHOPAL: Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Madhya Pradesh State Assembly Ajay Singh has challenged Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to contest the year-end assembly polls against him from Churhat seat of Sidhi district .Churhat, importantly, is the pocket borough of Singh's family, as the seat has been represented by him and his ex-CM father Late Arjun Singh eight times since 1967. The seat considered an impregnable Congress fortress has been won by the ruling BJP only once (in 1993) during the last 11 assembly elections.
"The CM says I need to fight with him openly and not from behind. But I haven't ever fought him from behind curtains. Twice in last five years, I as the Leader of Opposition have challenged him to have an open debate, by moving two no-confidence motion against his non-performing government. But it's he and not me, who has shied away from the debate on no trust vote by escaping from the patli gali," said Singh in Bhopal on Saturday.
"I challenge him to come and face me in Churhat in the next assembly polls," said Singh, the four time sitting Congress legislator from the same seat. However, when queried by journalists, why isn't he willing to contest against the CM from latter's present seat Budhni in Sehore district, Singh said, it's who is eager to have an open contest with me.
Singh Chouhan is the four-time sitting MLA from Budhni seat of Sehore district, which houses his native village Jait. On September 2, stones were allegedly pelted Chouhan's ongoing statewide Jan Ashirwad Yatra bus at Patpara village in Singh's Churhat assembly constituency of Sidhi district, located close to East UP. Chouhan, while alleging the hand of Singh and his supporters in the incident had dared the LoP to fight with him in the open instead of orchestrating attacks from behind.
Reacting to the allegations by Sandeep Chaturvedi (a youth from his home district Sidhi) on Saturday about police forcing him to turn an eyewitness of the incident and name seven men as accused in the case, Singh alleged that neither me nor my party is behind any alleged incident of stone pelting on the CM's vehicle on September 2."Sandeep's statements before journalists today put under cloud the entire stone pelting allegations as well as expose a well-thought conspiracy by the ruling BJP and state government to defame the Congress party and attempt my political murder," alleged Singh.
Even though the entire theory of CM's vehicle being pelted with stones is under cloud now, the police in Sidhi district have booked the nine persons arrested in the matter under Section 307 of IPC (attempt to murder) also, to ensure that they don't easily get bail from the court.