As Election Heat Rises, MP CM Chouhan Engages in War of Words with Priyanka Gandhi, Kamal Nath – News18

A war of words broke out between Congress leaders, including Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who targeted each other over the implementation of public welfare schemes in the state.

While Gandhi accused Chouhan of misleading people and asserted that there was no dictatorship in the Congress unlike the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the chief minister asked why public welfare schemes of his government were stopped when the Kamal Nath-led Congress dispensation was in power in the state.

Nath, who is Congress’s state unit chief, also hit out at Chouhan, accusing him of using inappropriate language against the Gandhi family and said his party does not give false promises.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Chouhan targeted the Congress and Priyanka Gandhi over the party’s promises of free education and cash incentives to students in Madhya Pradesh and alleged that Nath was cheating even the Gandhi family by forcing them to make false announcements.

Taking to social media platform ‘X’ after that, Gandhi on Friday evening said while her party was talking about education and children, the people, who divert people’s attention, seemed to understand something else.

“Shivraj ji, this is the rule of good people that they respect elders. The Congress does not have dictatorship wherein the names of its own leaders are not taken and issues not heard,” she said.

The Congress leader said her party would provide scholarships to every child in Madhya Pradesh irrespective of caste, religion and class under the scholarship scheme.

She promised that under the scholarship scheme, students of Classes 1 to 8 would be given Rs 500 per month, Class 9 and 10 Rs 1,000 per month and Class 11 and 12 Rs 1,500 per month.

During her address at a public rally in Madhya Pradesh earlier, Vadra had predicted Chouhan’s exit, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi was shying away from mentioning the Madhya Pradesh CM’s name in his speeches in the state.

Chouhan, while referring to her remarks made in the tribal-dominated Mandla district on October 12, said during a press conference on Friday, “Earlier the Gandhi family cheated everyone, but Kamal Nath is now cheating the Gandhi family. The way Priyanka Gandhi was asked to make an announcement, I have seen that video.”

He claimed that during her speech, Gandhi announced that education in MP would be free from Classes 1 to 12 if her party was voted to power, but Kamal Nath went up to her and asked her to make some corrections.

“Priyanka said, you speak, but Nath insisted that she only speak and then she started reading the speech and announced that from Classes 1-8th, Rs 500 would be given, from 8-10th Rs 1,000, and from 10th-12th Rs 1,500 would be given every year. Just then (Congress leader) Randeep Surjewala walked up to Priyanka and asked her to correct it to per month instead of per year,” he said.

“But madam pointed out that ‘per year’ was written in the speech…Just imagine, they first write something…and ask her to read…see their seriousness. Then change it from ‘per year’ to ‘per month’. They don’t intend to do anything, neither to give nor to take…Apne baap ka kya jata hai…It is the Congress’s policy of confusing people for seeking votes,” Chouhan alleged.

After Gandhi’s remark on ‘X’, Chouhan also took to the microblogging site on Friday night, and said “Priyanka ji, I am not diverting attention, but drawing attention. People who are making you announce promises have a bad track record.”

The chief minister said Gandhi should ask Nath why he stopped the schemes, including the distribution of laptops and bicycles to the students, when his government was in power in the state.

“Why were many public welfare schemes including those of school education stopped? And now I will keep reminding you from time to time which public welfare schemes were discontinued by your government,” he said.

Kamal Nath also hit back at Chouhan saying, “After being marginalised in your (Chouhan’s) own government and party, you are using extremely inappropriate language. Today you broke all limits of decorum and said that the Gandhi family has cheated the country. (You also said) Unke baap ka kya jata hai?” The former chief minister said that Priyaka Gandhi’s father, about whom Chouhan used such language, is Bharat Ratna late Rajiv Gandhi, who laid his life for the motherland.

“Her grandmother Indira Gandhi laid life for the country’s unity and integrity,” he said.

Claiming that his party does not give false promises, Nath said the entire country was proud of the Gandhi family because they know how to live and die for the country.

Elections to the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly will be held on November 17, while the counting of votes is slated on December 3.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)