In his first interview after the spectacular victory in the state assembly elections, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan talks to Sanjeev Varma about the priorities before him and elaborates on his dream to make his state fully developed in all areas of human welfare. He states that Madhya Pradesh of late is attracting a lot of investor interest. Exceprts:
What does this new victory mean for you and who do you give credit for this victory?
It is a victory for the development of the state. To me it means that I have to further serve my people. I give the credit to the people of Madhya Pradesh and to my party workers.
A lot of things are being said about the modus operandi of the Mumbai ATS in the Malegaon case and about the assault of Sadhvi Pragya. What is your take on the issue?
Being on a constitutional post, I cannot comment on this issue, but the harassment and humiliation of saints should stop.
Cases have been filed against the Mumbai ATS by next of kins of those unlawfully detained by the Mumbai ATS in Indore. What is the state government doing for them?
As I said, I will not be able to comment on this issue as I am on a constitutional post.
You said this was a vote for development. It took only three days to get a clearance for Nano project in Gujarat. Why is Madhya Pradesh so slow?
We have a policy on investment, which is fair for all. In cases where the land required by the investors are either wastelands or lands owned by the government, we do not take time to approve the project. It is only where the land belonging to people and farmers is needed that we take time to ensure that the latters? interests are also addressed. Investments worth rupees one lakh thirty thousand crore are already in the pipeline.
But of late in Singrauli district, the farmers were against their land to be allotted to Reliance and Essar Power.
The issue has been resolved and all parties have reached an amicable agreement.
Can Madhya Pradesh benefit from its traditional wealth of agriculture, specially organic agriculture and cow breeding?
Our government is working on the opportunities of organic agriculture in Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh Go Samvardhavn Board is working on the increasing of the economic feasibility of the cow and use of its organic manure.
Mahakoshal often complains of being sidelined on the front of development in Madhya Pradesh. The readymade garments complex in Jabalpur has yet not been set up despite funds having been made available by the central government. The earthquake surcharge collected from Jabalpur has been spent elsewhere. Thus, some parties have started demanding a separate state of Mahakoshal. Do you think smaller states are the solution?
I did not receive any demand of a separate Mahakoshal state, nor do I see the need for it. Chhattisgarh has already been carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
Recently some organisations adopted moral policing and the media associates them with the RSS and the BJP. What is your stand on the Mangalore pub incident and the pub culture as a whole?
Undignified public behaviour is wrong, no matter who does it. But at the same time, I would say beating-up of women and girls is wrong, and against Indian culture and can never be justified.?