Chouhan keeps up suspense over his contesting LS polls

Former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan had won from his traditional Budhni seat during the Assembly elections by a margin of over 58,000 votes. PTI file photo

BJP heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday kept up suspense over his contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, saying he is neither ruling it out nor ruling it in.

“I am neither ruling it out nor ruling it in. It is a decision that our party president has to take. I will abide by the party's decision. But, I want to work in Madhya Pradesh only,” he said at a press conference here at the BJP headquarters while replying to a question on whether he would contest the Lok Sabha polls.

Chouhan's remarks come in the backdrop of the BJP's plans to field a number of its former chief ministers in 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the hope of giving a good show as the saffron party finds itself in a tight contest in Opposition alliances and resurgent Congress in various states.

Though the Congress unseated the BJP from power in Madhya Pradesh defeating the saffron party in the state Assembly elections last year, Chouhan won from his traditional Budhni seat by a margin of over 58,000 votes, defeating former Union minister and senior Congress leader Arun Yadav.

There is a buzz in the BJP that the party, which is yet to announce its candidates for several seats in Madhya Pradesh, may field Chouhan from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat to take on Congress heavyweight Digvijaya Singh in the election.

Besides, Vidisha parliamentary seat represented by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also vacant with her announcing that she would not be contesting elections this time.

Chouhan represented Vidisha parliamentary seat five times in past before he resigned as a Member of Parliament (MP) in 2006 to become chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

“I recently contested an election. I am an MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly). There is no need for me to contest one more election,” Chouhan told reporters later on the sidelines of the press conference when asked again if he would contest the Lok Sabha election.

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