Launching a fierce attack on the previous Kamal Nath government on Friday, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan alleged that even ministers were turned away from the Mantralaya (Vallabh Bhawan in Bhopal) and the doors were always open for middlemen.
Addressing an event on the completion of 100 days in office, the CM took several digs at his predecessor.
“I am saying this on record that Vallabh Bhawan had converted into a centre of middlemen during the Congress government,” said Chouhan, alleging that two persons collected money all day and left at night.
Quoting former minister Imarti Devi, the chief minister said, “She met me at my chamber in Vallabh Bhawan and told me that she was there for first time as even ministers were turned away from this chamber.”
Chouhan claimed four 'Ds' –Dalals (middlemen), Dambh (ego), Durbhawna (ill intention) and Digvijaya Singh – ran the Kamal Nath government. Calling Digvijaya Singh "Mr Bantadhar", Chouhan said he also destroyed the Kamal Nath government and the ex-CM has now realised who was responsible for his downfall.
"I am told, both of them (Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh) are unnerved after losing power," said Chouhan, asserting that they were losing sleep. "They are so desperate that they want to be in power, at least for an hour," he said, amid giggles from the crowd.
Chouhan also alleged that the previous government started off the farm loan waiver scheme with Rs 50,000 crore, but kept curtailing the budget which eventually reduced to Rs 6,000 crore. "Officers told me that loan waiver certificates were doled out among farmers but banks never received any money. They did not even deposit Rs 22,00 crore of crop insurance,” said the BJP leader.
He claimed that the coronavirus outbreak had delayed the cabinet formation and he had to postpone the expansion process due to Panchak (an inauspicious period as per Hindu religious beliefs).
"Till now Covid-19 had held back our feet but now we have to take to the field and intensify the bypoll campaign," he added.
Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, too, addressed the event through videoconferencing. Also present on the occasion, senior BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia slammed the Kamal Nath government in his address. Praising the Covid-19 fight under Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Scindia alleged that nothing was done when Kamal Nath was at the helm of affairs. “He visited no hospital or city but he did have time to visit Indore to organise the IIFA awards,” the Rajya Sabha member said.
Scindia attacked his former party, saying, "There was a party which imposed Emergency to save its government and there is PM Narendra Modi who imposed lockdown with folded hands to save the nation from the coronavirus. Had the lockdown not been imposed, there would have been piles of bodies."
He clarified his stand on Emergency, arguing, "Some could question my criticism at this hour, but I wish to clarify that I opposed Emergency even when I was in Congress party. Whatever is right is right and whatever is wrong is wrong."
He urged for caution from the public on Covid-19, saying the threat of the virus was not over and people have to be vigilant for 2-3 months. “I have suffered this and know the mental pressure so I wish not even my enemy suffers this virus,” added Scindia.