New Delhi: Shivraj Singh Chouhan would be the Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, said reports on Thursday. Earlier, the party’s state unit chief Rakesh Singh had offered his resignation from the post taking responsibility for the defeat in Assembly elections, said ANI. (Also read: Rahul’s Ice Cream Outing Leaves Bad Taste in Chouhan’s Mouth)
However, party chief Amit Shah did not accept Singh’s resignation, asking him to work harder instead.
Chouhan won from his traditional Budhni seat by a margin of 58,999 votes, defeating former Union minister and senior Congress leader Arun Yadav. He had won the seat in 2013 with a margin of 84,805 votes.
The BJP garnered 109 seats in the 230-member Assembly. In 2013, it had won 163 seats in the Assembly polls.
The party could draw comfort from the fact that its vote share at 41 per cent was marginally higher than that secured by the Congress which bagged 40.9 per cent of the votes. The Congress got 114 seats, two less than the majority mark of 116.
Chouhan accused the Congress of creating obstacles during the counting of votes. Talking to reporters, he said, “The Congress is distressed. Like they first raised suspicion on EVMs and doubted EC, they’ll try to create obstacles at the time of counting too. State BJP chief has discussed this with district president and in-charges. They’ve been asked to stay calm but be alert.”
During his 15-year-tenure in the office, Chouhan transformed himself from a shy, simple and vulnerable politician to a wily leader with mass appeal. Though the Congress linked him to the multi-crore Vyapam scam, he emerged unscathed. The CBI gave a clean chit to Chouhan.
The Vyapam scandal was an entrance examination, admission and recruitment scam that was unearthed in 2013. It involved politicians, senior and junior officials and businessmen systematically employing imposters to write papers, manipulate exam hall seating arrangements and supply forged answer sheets by allegedly bribing officials.