Bhopal: Former Chief Minister and Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath has presented the development works done in his home district as ‘Chhindwara Model’ before the tribal communities in the state to woo them ahead of the Assembly polls.
The veteran leader said that no one had demanded schools, colleges, industries, and training centers in his home district, but he did all for his own satisfaction and not for politics.
Kamal Nath, who won nine Lok Sabha elections from Chhindwara and now his son Nakul Nath is the only Congress MP from Madhya Pradesh, said the villages of his home district got electricity at that time when merely 22 per cent area of MP had electricity.
He made this statement while addressing a ‘tribal youth panchayat’ programme organised by the state Congress in Indore Sunday.
“I had put a proposal before the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to make Chhindwara fully empowered and electricity was the main path. Since then, I made up my mind to make Chhindwara a hub of industries and training centers and I did it, but not for politics. I did it for a better life for tribals. I did all this to make the future of Chhindwara’s youth better, and now it has become a role model for the entire country,” Kamal Nath said.
While addressing a large gathering of tribal youths, Kamal Nath asked them to visit Chhindwara and witness the transformation in life of people there. “During the early days of politics, I used to ask tribals to open their mouths. Raise your voices. It’s all yours, and nobody will give you anything, you have to come forward to take what belongs to you. Same thing I am asking you today. Raise your voices for your rights,” Kamal Nath added.
Pointing to a list of demands made by the ‘tribal youth panchayat’, the former Chief Minister said he felt shocked that youths have made the demands now what should have been given to them years ago. “In 2023, you are demanding for schools and colleges, this really surprised me that the BJP government failed to provide even the basics of life. Whatever you have demanded, all things have been done in Chhindwara. And if your demands are not fulfilled, please don’t blame me alone, your local MLAs are equally responsible for that,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kamal Nath lambasted Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying when the elections have reached at the door, he has started distributing shoes, sleepers, and umbrellas to the tribals. “What have you been doing for the last 18 years? There should be a limit to hypocrisy. And more astonishing, you (CM Chouhan) are making an event even for giving umbrellas and sleepers to tribals. The BJP has made a proper system of corruption in Madhya Pradesh and they are fully exposed now,” Kamal Nath added.
However, the Chhindwara model has not become a talking point during the elections in Madhya Pradesh. Various startups, small and medium manufacturing enterprises, local call centers that have come up in the last decade that provide employment opportunities to the local population, have been a matter of discussion for years.
Since 1951 when the first elections were held in the country, except in the 1997 bypolls, the Congress candidate has never lost from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat. Even during the ‘Modi wave’ of 2014 and 2019, the Chhindwara seat, which has been with former CM and Union minister Kamal Nath and his family since 1980, the BJP candidate could not win.
Former two-time Chief Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh and the NSUI head Kanhaiya Kumar also addressed the ‘tribal youth panchayat’. Kumar, who is former JNU student union president and has always been on BJP’s target for alleged controversial slogans in 2016, said, “Union Home Minister Amit Shah and MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra both are in Indore today. I am wrong, put me in jail, and don’t mislead the people with your propaganda.”
Narottam Mishra, who presents himself as hard-Hindutva leader in Madhya Pradesh, mentioned the alleged controversial slogans of Kumar when he was the president of JNU student Union in 2016 and said that, “Kamal Nath is sharing stage with those who raised slogans to divide the country.”
Amit Shah will be visiting Indore later in the day. He will address a gathering of BJP workers. State Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who is minister in-charge of Indore has been launching scathing attacks on Congress leaders especially on Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh.