Kamal Nath’s journey from Davos to Dewas

DB Post 13 Oct 2018



Perched atop Bhopal’s Shamla Hills, the CM House is indeed MP’s power centre.

Just across the road, overlooking the picturesque Upper Lake, stands another colonial bungalow that has emerged as the state’s second power centre.

Only a few feet of asphalt divide the two high profile neighbours.

State Congress president Kamal Nath, the occupant of the other house, has pitched a make-shift tent in its sprawling campus. It is to accommodate the perennial stream of visitors.

The campus resembles a mela ground. Those making a beeline to the house include political leaders, not necessarily from the Congress party, business tycoons and journalists. Some government officials are also in touch.  Continue reading “Kamal Nath’s journey from Davos to Dewas”

Line blurred between ruling party & government in MP

DB Post 6 Oct 2018


It is time for the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh to reap what it has been sowing for 15 years.

It has launched a publicity blitzkrieg to monetise its purported achievements. Anyone who lives in the state can’t escape the carpet bombing unleashed by the government.

The media, both new and traditional, is drowning in it. Billboards inform citizens that they live in a golden state, Swarnim Madhya Pradesh.

Freebies distributed among the poor carry photographs of their benefactors. Our mandarins had even planned tiles carrying the PM’s and the CM’s images outside the government built houses.

It is overkill. If you live in MP, you get the impression that every morning the sun rises in the east due to the efforts of only one person. No awards for guessing who that person is. Continue reading “Line blurred between ruling party & government in MP”

हम हैं माई के लाल : शिवराज को चुनौती

Hum Hain Mai Ke Laal

MP’s caste cauldron


मुख्य मंत्री शिवराज सिंह चौहान अपनी सार्वजनिक सभाओं में बड़े ही अंदाज से भाषा का रंग दिखाते हैं। मध्यप्रदेश हाईकोर्ट ने 2016 में शिडयूल कास्ट और शिडयूल ट्राइब के सरकारी कर्मचारियों को आरक्षण के आधार पर तरक्की देने में रोक लगाई थी।

इसके बाद इस समुदाय के सरकारी कर्मचारियों और अधिकारियों की एक बैठक में बोलते हुए उन्होंने उन्हें भरोसा दिया कि हाईकोर्ट के आदेश के बावजूद आरक्षण जारी रहेगा। चौहान ने खुली चुनौती दी ‘कोई माई का लाल आरक्षण खत्म नहीं कर सकता’।

इस सप्ताह मध्यप्रदेश के ज़्यादातर हिस्सों में अनुसूचित जाति/ अनुसूचित जनजाति कानून में संशोधन पर बंद रहा। चौहान के पुराने निर्वाचन क्षेत्र विदिशा में आंदोलनकारियों ने टी-शर्ट पहन रखी थी जिस पर लिखा था ‘हम है माई का लाल’। काले रंग की टीशर्ट पर लिखी यह इबादत हर तरह मुख्यमंत्री के ही खिलाफ जाती थी। यह टीशर्ट राज्य के कई हिस्सों में पहने हुए आंदोलनकारी देखे गए। उधर अनुसूचित जाति/अनुसूचित जनजाति कानून पर आंदोलन तेज होता गया। Continue reading “हम हैं माई के लाल : शिवराज को चुनौती”

Caste Cauldron in Madhya Pradesh

DB Post 8 September 2018


Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is fond of using colourful language in his public speeches. In 2016 MP High Court quashed reservation in promotions to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe government employees.

Soon after that, addressing a meeting of government employees and officers from these communities, he assured them that the reservation in promotions will continue despite the high court order.

Chouhan threw an open challenge: “Koi mai ka lal arakshan khatm nahi kar sakta.”

This week, as large parts of MP shut down to protest amendment to SC/ST Act, agitators in Vidisha, Chouhan’s former constituency, wore T-shirts that proclaimed, “Ham Hai Mai Ke Lal.

The black coloured T-shirts with the message, an apparent dig at the CM, have made their appearance in several part of the State as the agitation against the SC/ST Act gains momentum. Continue reading “Caste Cauldron in Madhya Pradesh”

Spoilsports of 2018 election

DB Post 18 August 2018


The emergence of a radical maverick organisation as a political force in western Madhya Pradesh has worried both the BJP and the Congress, the main contenders for the throne in the upcoming MP assembly election. Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS), an organisation of tribal youths, has thrown its hat in the ring.

Jays has announced that its members will contest not only all the 47 Vidhan Sabha seats reserved for scheduled tribes but also fight from 30 other constituencies with sizeable number of Adivasi voters.

Jays has been active in the tribal areas, particularly western region, for some time now. The success of its recent rallies in small tribal towns and the outpouring of support from youth have caught the media’s imagination. Continue reading “Spoilsports of 2018 election”

The Rise of OBCs in MP Politics

DB Post 11 Aug 18


Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has invoked his OBC status in the run up to the MP assembly elections. He tells the voters that he is the son of a poor farmer from backward class. And that is why raja-maharajas like Digvijay Singh and Jyotiraditya Scindia and business tycoons like Kamal Nath were trying to oust him from power.

The forthcoming election, he says, is a fight between the poor and the backward on one side and the rich and the feudal on the other.

When Kamal Nath reached Bhopal three months ago to take over as MPCC chief, his combat gear consisted of a voluminous document detailing caste composition of each assembly constituency.

His election strategy also hinges on the OBCs, who constitute more than half of the population in the state. The Congress has realised that its traditional dependence on tribal and dalit votes is no longer a guarantee of smooth sailing at the hustings. Continue reading “The Rise of OBCs in MP Politics”