Bhopal, Nov 29: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today completed 10 years in office, becoming the first non-Congress chief minister to do so, even as his tenures saw challenges like the Vyapam scam and defeat in recently-held Lok Sabha bypoll.
With his two back-to-back terms, Chouhan broke the record of his predecessor and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who ruled the state for two consecutive years from 1993-2003.
The BJP has organised a celebration later today to mark the completion of the period.
The 56-year-old BJP leader was sworn-in as the state's chief minister for the first time on November 29, 2005, after the tumultuous run of the BJP-government that came to power in 2003 which then waded through political turbulence by having two chief ministers in a short span of two years.
In 2003, Union Minister Uma Bharati led a surcharged poll campaign to dethrone the then chief minister Digvijaya Singh, who headed the state Congress government since 1993.
Bharati remained at the top post from December 8, 2003 to August 22, 2004. After that, Babulal Gaur became the chief minister of the state till November 29, 2005.
Though Digvijaya defeated Chouhan at the former's princely state and home turf Raghogarh in 2003, the destiny had much more in store for Chouhan as in less than two years after that loss, he became the Chief Minister MP replacing Babulal Gaur, the present Home Minister of the state.
Gaur was forced to step down as Bharti, after getting released from Hubli jail in connection with a case of alleged insult to the national flag, demanded from the party that Gaur be removed and she should be made again the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, but in vain.
However, Chouhan then got an opportunity to become the chief minister for the first time in his political career of over one-and-a-half decade.
Chouhan first got elected as MLA in 1989-90 from Budhni Assembly seat and was later forced to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Vidisha against his wishes. Since then he represented the Vidisha Lok Sabha seat for five consecutive terms till 2004.
Though he had served the party in a number of important positions, he never had any administrative experience till he became the chief minister in 2005.
Besides the Vyapam scam, the Opposition also tried to embroil him in a dumper scam, but he got a clean chit in it from the court.
Referring to the Vyapam scam, Chouhan said, "Though probe is going on in the case, we have tried to make a transparent system of admission and recruitment after we came to know that there was no system in place for the same."
BJP also met with defeat in the recently-held Ratlam-Jhabua Lok Sabha bypoll.