Bhopal, Sep 24 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan emerged as a powerful leader within and outside the Bharatiya Janata Party at the BJP's National Executive meet here.
BJP President Rajnath Singh and former deputy prime minister L K Advani lavished openly praised Chouhan before chief ministers of other BJP-ruled states at the party's National Executive meet that concluded yesterday.
Both the leaders said that Mr Chouhan was committed to and toiled for the development of the weaker section of society so as to bring them into the mainstream.
They claimed that public feedback on government work revealed that people were happy with the Chief Minister's efforts.
''The quality of work even exceeds that, which was undertaken during my tenure as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister,'' said Mr Singh.
Political observers felt that by the mass gathering at a public meeting, attended by more than one lakh people, Mr Chouhan proved that he had a firm hold on both the government and party organisation. The 'certificate' would quell dissenting voices heard during the recent expansion of the State Council of Ministers.
The top leadership has clearly indicated that the next Assembly Elections would take place under Mr Chouhan's leadership.
The observers say that the manner in which senior leaders unanimously said that former chief minister Uma Bharti's return to BJP fold was not even being considered made it clear that the party is sticking to its hardline stance vis-a-vis dissidents.
BJP bigwigs also hinted that the Madhya Pradesh capital would emerge as a ''hub'' for the party's national politics.
Mr Singh said that recent developments strengthened the possibility of mid-term polls and it was the right time to unseat the United Progressive Alliance.
''The present political situation is almost similar to the one that existed in 1996, when the BJP had for the first time emerged as a major political party,'' he added, claiming that Bhopal brought good fortune for the BJP as the National Democratic Alliance had come to power at the Centre soon after a National Executive meet here.
''There was a time, when the route to the corridors of power lay via Lucknow but Bhopal is the seat for the BJP's key decisions,'' said General Secretary Ananth Kumar.
The meeting, which concluded sans controversy, issued a bugle call for unseating the UPA and its supporters, besides taking the Ram Sethu issue to every corner of the country.