BHOPAL: In Madhya Pradesh aka ‘Shanti Ka Tapu’ (Island of Peace), guns, shotguns, rifles, pistols and revolvers enjoy pride of place among the prized possessions of both top ministers of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government as well as senior Congress leaders.
According to the affidavits submitted by candidates along with nomination papers, both rifles and revolvers seem to be the prideful possession of several politicians, including 12 present ministers, who already enjoy official security.
Around 38% of ministers of the 32-strong Shivraj Singh Chouhan government have declared in their affidavits to be having licensed firearms. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, six other Cabinet ministers and five Ministers of State (MoS) have guns. The CM himself possesses a revolver.
While parliamentary affairs and public relations minister Narottam Mishra owns a revolver worth Rs 75,000, home minister Bhupendra Singh has a .12 bore rifle and a revolver worth Rs 65,000. PWD minister Rampal Singh owns a revolver, rifle and a 12 bore gun worth Rs 1.60 lakh. Agriculture minister Gourishankar Bisen owns a Rs 85,000 worth revolver.
School education minister Kunwar Vijay Shah, who is the tribal face of the government has a revolver, a rifle and a .12 bore gun, all worth Rs 50,000.
Minister for new and renewable energy Narayan Singh Kushwah has a .32 bore pistol and a .315 bore Mauser Pistol, both worth Rs 1.45 lakh.
When it comes to MoS, Sharad Jain has a revolver worth Rs 1 lakh, Deepak Joshi has a revolver worth Rs 83,500, and Vishwas Sarang has a licensed revolver worth Rs 3.5 lakh. The list also includes Jalam Singh Patel and Balkrishna Patidar who own a revolver and a .12 bore licensed gun, respectively.
Even several senior Congress leaders have a penchant for guns in the state, which was once known for its lawless Chambal ravines. Congress chief whip in the Vidhan Sabha Ramniwas Rawat owns a revolver, a .12 bore gun and a Mauser. Former minister KP Singh (Pichhore) has a revolver and a rifle.
Rajnagar MLA Vikram Singh ‘Natiraja’ owns a 12 bore double barrel gun, a 30-06 rifle and .375 Magnum gun, collectively worth Rs 4.5 lakh. Lahar MLA Govind Singh is also an owner of three weapons. Five-time legislator from Bhopal Uttar Arif Aqeel has a 315 bore rifle and a pistol.
Ex-union minister Arun Yadav, who is contesting against the CM in Budhni, has a revolver and gun. Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Rajendra Singh has a Smith & Wesson revolver, a .30 bore semi-automatic
US carbine and .315 bore rifle, all presently worth Rs 1.80 lakh.
Sitting BJP MLA from Tendukheda seat Sanjay Sharma, who is now contesting as a Congress candidate, possesses a .12 bore gun, a rifle and a pistol, all worth presently Rs 3.65 lakh. Congress candidate from Bhopal Madhya seat Arif Masood has a double barrel 12 bore gun, while three-time BJP MLA Mahendra Hardia too owns a pistol.
BJP candidate from Ghatiya Ajit Borasi, who along with ex-Ujjain MP father Premchand ‘Guddu’ quit the Congress recently, possesses an Italian revolver. Incidentally, senior Congress leader Mukesh Nayak, who preached the Bhagvad Geeta a decade ago, owns two guns.
■ 12 BJP ministers, including 7 Cabinet ministers and five MoS, have guns
■ Cabinet ministers having guns, include Narottam Mishra, Bhupendra Singh, Kunwar Vijay Shah, Rampal Singh, Gourishankar Bisen and Narayan Singh Kushwah
■ MoS such asVishwas Sarang, Jalam Singh Patel, Sharad Jain, Deepak Joshi and Balkrishna Patidar possess firearms
■ Senior Congress leaders having guns include Deputy Speaker of Assembly Rajendra Singh, and ex-minister Govind Singh, Mukesh Nayak.