Chouhan starts second term as Madhya Pradesh chief minister

December 12th, 2008 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhopal, Dec 12 (IANS) Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who steered the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a resounding win in the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, was Friday sworn-in as the chief minister for a second successive term. He becomes the 29th chief minister of the state.Governor Balram Jakhar administered the oath of office and secrecy in Hindi to 49-year-old Chouhan at the spruced up Jamboori Maidaan (ground) guarded by over 1,000 security men, including the police and National Security Guard commandos, in the BHEL township here.

Singh took the oath alone.

Party insiders say that Chouhan is expected to pick his cabinet colleagues in a couple of days after holding discussions with the central leadership.

Over 100,000 people and movie stars including Hema Malini and Smriti Irani were present as was cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Three helipads were constructed for special guests.

Also present were senior BJP leaders including L.K. Advani and his family, party president Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh and chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, including Raman Singh and B.C. Khanduri.

The newly elected BJP legislators met Wednesday and unanimously elected Chouhan as their leader in the presence of the party’s vice-president Venkaiah Naidu and Madhya Pradesh in-charge Ananth Kumar.

A gold medallist with a Master’s in Philosophy from Barkatullah University, Bhopal, Chouhan was born in a farmer’s family on March 5, 1959. He got involved in student politics at an early age when studying at the Model Higher Secondary School, Bhopal.

He became students’ union president in 1975 and associated himself with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) during the Emergency. He was jailed during the Emergency though he was not an adult then.

Later in his college and university days, Chouhan was actively involved with the student and youth wings of the BJP and held several posts in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM). He became state president of the youth wing in 1988, rising later to become its national president.

In 1990-91, Chouhan was elected to the state assembly from Budhni assembly constituency. He contested the Lok Sabha bypoll for the Vidisha seat when senor BJP leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee resigned from it in 1991. Since then, Chouhan has been winning the Lok Sabha elections from Vidisha.

In 2005, he was given charge of the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. Appointed state president of the party, he succeeded Babulal Gaur as chief minister in November 2005. It was around this time that former chief minister Uma Bharti staged a rebellion against the BJP and set up a breakaway party.

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