Issue :   
January 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         January 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Jan' 2018


Chouhan now wants to spread happiness in the State!

N D Sharma

Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh C h o u h a n ' s fascinat ion for h o l d i n g panchayats may have decl ined but his enthusiasm for making promises has not. He has now promised to create an atmosphere of happiness in the State and would pay Rs 10 lakh to whoever is willing to submit a project to achieve this. This is only natural that he should think of spreading happiness all around after having taken care of the problems of di f ferent segments of society. That he did by holding panchayats of those segments.
Within months of his having taken over as Chief Minister in November 2005, Chouhan held a kisan panchayat at his residence where he made as many as 35 promises aimed at redressing each and every grievance of the farmers. Chouhan is never t ired of calling himself a 'kisan-putra' and the fact that the f irst panchayat he held was of the farmers shows his overwhelming concern for the agricultural community. If the farmers are st i l l rest ive and agi tat ing violent ly for the redress of their grievances and commi t t ing suicide almost regularly, it is only too bad.
Having taken care of the problems of farmers, Chouhan paid at tent ion to other sections. So far he has held nearly two scores of panchayats covering almost every segment of society. The panchayat of Bais (house-maids) was the twenty- f irst such panchayat held at the CM's residence.
Chouhan declared at the outset that a housemaid would no more be called as Bai (as is the custom) but 'Behen' if she is younger and 'Didi ' i f she is older. The Bais would be issued photo identity cards and the Government would spend up to Rs 20,000 if a Bai fell ill. This facility would be extended to her husband, son, daughter, mother- in- law, father- in- law and widowed and deserted daughter also.
The other promises made by Chouhan included: free text - books to their chi ldren in addition to the monthly cash payment to the chi ldren; 45 days' maternity leave and 15 days' paterni ty leave to the husband while the Government would pay the wages of both for these periods; Rs 1000 cash payment to the Bai for nutri t ious diet during materni ty. There were some more promises like insurance cover against death or accident and provision of pension. He made simi lar promises wi th variat ions according to their specific needs to different sect ions such as agricul tural labourers ( including f inancial help for cremat ion i f an agricultural labourer or his/her dependant died), kotwars (land, new cycles, new bright uniforms every year and immunity from prosecut ion) , industrial ists (international markets would be made avai lable to the smal l scale sector for its products), the disabled, the poor belonging to the general category, and the women. After solving the problems of the people segment -wise, Chouhan decided some t ime back to set up a Department of Happiness to spread happiness throughout the State. The Minister of Happiness, incidentally, is Lal Singh Arya against whom there is a nonbai lable arrest warrant in a murder case. He wai ted for nearly two weeks for the police to arrest him but the police could not find him. Then he managed to get a stay order from the High Court. Now the Chief Minister has promised Rs 10 lakh to whoever can tell him how to spread happiness al l around.

One more Yatra

When not making promises, Chouhan organises Yatras . Some time back, he completed his Narmada Seva Yatra .
At present, he is engaged in what he calls 'Ekatma Yatra' that is to commemorate Adi Shankaracharya. The 35-day Ekatma Yatra was launched by him at Rewa on December 19. He observed that the solution to the problems of the world was possible only through the Advai ta Vedanta Darshan as propounded by Adi Shankaracharya. The Ekatma Yatra is to culminate on January 22 at Omkareshwar where a statue of Adi Shankaracharya will be installed.
The statue wi l l be constructed wi th the metal col lected from al l over the State. As many as 140 public addresses are planned during the Ekatma Yatra. Addressing the Yatra rally at Shahdol a few days later, the Chief Minister observed that Ekatmvad of Adi Shankaracharya would end terrorism and ego-clashes in the world.

National Green Tribunal

Santosh Bhart i , a social activist of Damoh, has, in sheer desperat ion, wri t ten to the Nat ional Green Tribunal (Bhopal Bench) that he would no more appear before it.
That, in a way, shows how clumsily the Tribunal has been funct ioning. Bhart i has sent copies of his letter to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court, among others.
Bharti has for several years been moving the Tribunal with matters of public interest such as forest felling and corruption. He has been regularly comingto Bhopal to appear before the Tribunal on scheduled dates with the evidence meticulously col lected in support of his claims.
What happened, in his own words: mostly the respondents don' t submi t their counter af f idavi ts/repl ies, then the Government lawyers seek adjournments on f l imsy grounds and the Tribunal , barring one or two exceptions, promptly accepts their prayers for adjournments. The purpose of seeking these adjournments appears to be to exhaust me as I have to travel from Damoh, hundreds of kilometres away, to Bhopal at the age of 76 and the Tribunal becomes a party to their nefarious design.
Moreover, I have been receiving threats to my l i fe as the pol i t ician-bureaucrat -cr iminal nexus feels threatened with my complaints and the evidence that I possess. I escaped an attempt on my life on June 23, 2013 and one such at tempt earlier also.


Chief Minister Chouhan at tended a Saharia Adivasi Sammelan at Sesai village in Shivpuri district on December 9. There he washed and worshiped the feet of nine Adivasi young girls and offered a sweater and an envelope containing Rs 100 to each one of them. After he left the venue, there was a rumour that the Chief Minister had put Rs 2100 in each envelope but the officials took out Rs 2000 from each of the envelopes and gave only Rs 100 to the girls. Shivpuri Col lector Tarun Rathi issued a statement that the envelopes had only Rs 100 and there was no truth in the rumour that the officials had removed Rs 2000 from each of the envelopes. Col lector's denial notwi thstanding, the rumour persists.