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A surprise meeting between Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan electrified MP’s political circles on Monday night. They had a closed-door meeting at Chouhan’s residence for around 45 minutes after which they emerged together to meet the journalists that had flocked there on hearing of it.
The meeting triggered intense speculation. Some political pundits wondered if it was an indication of some kind of an arrangement before Lok Sabha elections to do with the current political situation in MP.
Scindia arrived in Bhopal around 6:15 pm on Monday to express his condolences on the passing of close family members of two of his close confidantes. After paying tributes, Scindia made up his mind – all of a sudden – to see Chouhan, who had only just returned from his New Delhi tour.
Jyotiraditya Scindia and former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan dubbed it a ‘saujanya bhet (courtesy meet)’, but also said that “the talks were good” – enough of a hint that their conversation was in context of the current political situation in MP and the Lok Sabhapolls ahead.
Scindia’s decision took everyone by surprise as he was on a very tight schedule. Scindia sent a message to Chouhan and after confirmation, went to the former CM’s residence with a clutch of supporters. Chouhan, as if waiting, greeted Scindia and they were closeted in a meeting for about half an hour.
Raat gayi, baat gayi
After emerging from the meeting around 10pm, the Congress stalwart told reporters: “It was a courtesy meeting. We spoke on several things.”
Asked about BJP’s relentless ‘Maaf karo Maharaja’ jibe at him during campaigning for assembly elections, “I am not a person who lives with bitterness in relations throughout life. I believe in ‘raat gayi, baat gayi’. There is a tussle during elections, but it vanishes after results. We believe in taking everyone along,” said Scindia.
On the role of Chouhan as an opposition leader, Scindia said: “The Opposition should always assist and praise the good work of the government and point out lapses. We expect the opposition to be helpful and constructive.” Chouhan echoed Scindia’s sentiment and said: “It was a courtesy meeting. We met, we discussed. But there are no complaints or hard feelings.” Asked about details of the meeting and what was discussed, the former CM only said: “Thank you.”