Chouhan: Master of Illusions
Posted July 10, 2015on:
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a master of illusions. He makes them appear so lifelike that even the most astute minds are taken in. These days he is being hailed as the champion of the egg-less diets for the children in Anganwadis. Even the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) decided to honour him after he valiantly declared in early June that eggs were never served in Anganwadis and will never make it to the menu as long as he is at the helm of affairs in Madhya Pradesh.
Eggs had never been served to children in the Anganwadis in Madhya Pradesh. That is, till Chouhan became the chief minister. It was he who introduced eggs in mid-day meals in September 2007 with a great fanfare as a means to check malnutrition among tribal children. The project was implemented in 38 blocks of 19 districts. A State-level outfit was constituted with Sanjeev Shrivastava as the Project Coordinator. As many as 64 officers of 19 districts were trained and the master trainers were expected to impart training to their subordinates in their districts.
Chouhan, however, decided to call off the project after reaching an understanding with the leaders of the Jain community on the eve of the 2008 Assembly elections. Soon after he romped home with a thumping majority, he made the project ‘un-project’ as George Orwell, the celebrated author of ‘1984’, would have liked to call it because for the chief minister and his cohorts the project of serving eggs in Anganwadis never existed in Madhya Pradesh. Some cynics even feel that it was all a well-thought out strategy of the chief minister to win back the support of the Jains who had started drifting away from him. The Jain community has a sizeable presence in Madhya Pradesh.