Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and veteran BJP leader Babulal Gaur cannot stop thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi despite failing to contest on the party ticket for the eleventh consecutive time.
Babulal Gaur, who was on the verge of staging a rebellion against the BJP of which he has been a leader for the past 44 years, recalls the day Narendra Modi gave a strong message to the Madhya Pradesh unit of the BJP to accommodate his claims.
Babulal Gaur, 88, has been an MLA since 1974, having won all the 10 elections since then. He succeeded Uma Bharti as a chief minister in August 2004 and was incumbent Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s predecessor till November 2005.
Despite being replaced by Chouhan, Babulal Gaur continued as a minister in his cabinet before being dropped in June 2016.
Since then, other leaders, including Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma, had been evincing keen interest in contesting from his Govindpura seat. But Babulal Gaur never gave up his claim over Govindpura seat.
Talking to Indiatoday.in, Babulal Gaur gave a detailed account of the circumstances under which the BJP’s state leadership reached out to him.
“Some BJP leaders were conspiring against me and trying to have me retired from politics. But it was the last thing I wanted to happen. After all, I have won 10 consecutive assembly elections. Why should I abdicate my right?”
Babulal Gaur resorted to satyagrah demanding ticket from Govindpura for the eleventh consecutive time. “I made it clear that I would have to take other path if the party did not respect my right to contest.”
Govindpura is an industrial area and the assembly constituency includes Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). In fact, Babulal Gaur was a worker in BHEL before he entered politics in 1974.
Then came the BJP’s ‘Karyakarta Mahakumbh’ (party workers’ rally) at Bhopal on September 25. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the main speaker of the event.
After the event concluded, PM Modi met everyone on the dais. “He moved towards me, shook hands with me and said, ‘Ek baar aur, Babulal Gaur (Babulal Gaur once more)’,” he said.
Babulal Gaur said he replied by chanting “Jai ho”.
All this happened in the full view of the top leaders of the BJP and the party workers.
This episode played a crucial role in ensuring a compromise between Babulal Gaur and the BJP’s state leadership.
“I was invited by the party leadership for talks. They asked me whether I was agreeable to my daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur being fielded in my place. I agreed immediately because she is a deserving candidate.”
Babulal Gaur gives full credit to Narendra Modi for Krishna Gaur getting the assembly ticket. “She got a ticket because of Modi ji who wanted me to contest one more time. I give all credits to him,” Babulal Gaur said.
Babulal Gaur is a happy man now.
Former MP CM Babulal Gaur’s daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur gets BJP assembly ticket from his traditional seat of Govindpura. Photo: krishnagaurbjp.blogspot.com
He is confident of the BJP’s victory in the assembly election. “The BJP is a cadre-based party. This will help in the election,” he said.
On former Union minister Sartaj Singh contesting as a Congress candidate after being denied a BJP ticket, Babulal Gaur said it was his personal decision.
However, Babulal Gaur has a view on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s brother-in-law Sanjay Singh Masani contesting on a Congress ticket. “It will have some impact on a personal level,” he said.
Krishna Gaur, 50, is a former mayor of Bhopal and BJP state secretary. She considers herself as his true inheritor of Babulal Gaur’s political legacy.
Krishna Gaur has been representing her MLA father-in-law and even accompanying him on most of the official programmes in the Govindpura constituency.