Senior BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Babulal Gaur today praised the development model of Chhindwara, the Lok Sabha seat of state Congress chief Kamal Nath, prompting the ruling party to dismiss it as the former's "personal outlook".
Senior BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Babulal Gaur today praised the development model of Chhindwara, the Lok Sabha seat of state Congress chief Kamal Nath, prompting the ruling party to dismiss it as the former’s “personal outlook”. While inaugurating a book, “Chhindwara Model: Sarvangin Vikas ka Vyapak Drishtikon” (Chhindwara Model: Comprehensive view on all round development), written by journalist Bhaskar Rao Rokde, Gaur had commended the vision of Nath.
“Nath never let the political divide come in the way of development. When he was the Union Minister, I was the Urban Development Minister in Madhya Pradesh. Kamal Nath had helped in the development of the state,” Gaur said during the book launch earlier in the day. Nath has been Lok Sabha MP from Chhindwara nine times since being elected from there for the first time in 1980. Nath himself, on several occasions, has termed the development model of Chhindwara as being better than that of Vidisha, which was the parliamentary seat of Shivraj Singh Chouhan before he became MP CM.
Vidisha Lok Sabha seat is now represented by Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. While the BJP distanced itself from Gaur’s remarks and called it his “personal outlook”, the latter said that he had just praised the development of Chhindwara and had not given credit for it to Nath. “It was not a Congress programme. I praised the development of Chhindwara. I didn’t praise Nath for the development. I was the urban administration minister during 1990-92 and removed encroachments on a massive scale. Due to this, infrastructure developed (in Chhindwara),” he told PTI later.
Meanwhile, MP BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal said, “Views expressed by Gaur were his personal outlook, the party has nothing to do with it.” Agrawal further alleged that the book release had laid bare the infighting in the Congress. “The release of this book shows that there is infighting in the Congress ahead of (Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi’s visit. Kamal Nath wanted to outshine Jyotiraditya Scindia, who represents Guna LS seat, prior to Rahul’s visit,” Agrawal claimed.
Gandhi is scheduled to visit the state on September 17 and address several party functions. The Congress, however, maintained that Gaur had endorsed the party’s claim that the Chhindwara development model was better than the ones of seats held by senior BJP leaders. “Gaur has endorsed what the Congress has been claiming. The Chief Minister and the BJP should also accept that the Chhindwara model is better and praise the contribution of Kamal Nath ji,” MP Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said.