Sadhana Singh, the wife of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is likely to assume a political role in the coming months, Bhopal based BJP leaders told The Sunday Guardian. According to them, she is likely to be given an important responsibility by the party, ahead of the Assembly elections slated for the yearend.
Earlier this week, she was “elected” as the national president of “Kirar samaj” in Kota, Rajasthan, during the 11th “mahasabha”, amidst opposition from other members who were pushing for the appointment of their representatives as the president.
In the programme, which was attended by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje, Sadhana Singh spoke in detail about the schemes that have been introduced in Madhya Pradesh for the welfare of the farmers. She also told the audience about the growth of MP villages like a seasoned politician. Informed sources said that Sadhana Singh, who has never hidden her inclination towards active politics, has been the brain behind many state government sponsored events in MP. Many of the girl oriented schemes launched by the Shivraj Singh government have been her idea, party sources said. “She accompanies the CM on many public events prominently and takes interest to make sure that events and programmes are conducted in the best way possible. She regularly interacts with bureaucrats and shares her inputs regarding government schemes that she hears from the voters, especially women voters. She has come a long way, politically, since November 2005 when Shivraj first became the CM,” a Bhopal-based senior party functionary said.
Sadhna Singh, unlike the wives of CM Shivraj’s predecessors, has been playing an active role in running the administration in the state. She was in the forefront of the BJP’s campaign in Madhya Pradesh in 2013, helping her husband to return to power for the third time.
This is not the first time that the BJP office in Bhopal at the Deen Dayal Upadhaya Parishar is rife with the speculation of Sadhana Singh taking the plunge into active politics. In the 2013 Assembly elections, CM Shivraj Singh, who had contested from two seats, Budhni and Vidisha, and won both, had later resigned from the Vidisha seat. At that time, it was almost certain that his wife would be asked to contest from the seat.
However, sources said the move was put on hold by CM Shivraj Singh himself as he thought it was not the right time for his wife to join active politics. Sadhana Singh’s name had also cropped up in the Vyapam scam, but nothing was ever proved against her. “She has all the qualities that are expected in a people’s representative. If the party decides to give her any responsibility, it should not just be seen from the prism of nepotism. Let the people of MP decide on the issue,” said a party MP, when asked whether Sadhana Singh would be given a ticket in the Assembly elections. Shivraj Chouhan, 58, five-time Lok Sabha MP from Vidisha parliamentary seat, which is now represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, is also looking at the political options that he can have if the BJP fails to form government in MP. The BJP has lost the last four bypolls that have been held in the state since April 2017, including the recent bypolls in Kolaras and Mungaoli. In the 14 bypolls held since 2013, the BJP has won nine, whereas the Congress won the remaining five. The CM’s elder son, Kartikey, who will be completing his law degree this year, and who has business interests in horticulture and dairy farming, has also become active politically. He addressed rallies while campaigning for the party in the recent bypolls.