Bhopal, Dec 11 (IANS) Rajendra Shukla, who until a few months back was stuck in an unpleasant situation due factionalism in Madhya Pradesh BJP unit and was made minister third-time three months before the Assembly elections, has been named by the party as the Deputy Chief Minister along with Jagdish Devda.
Shukla (59) won his fifth consecutive election from Rewa constituency in the recently concluded Assembly polls.
Coming from an engineering background, Shukla in last one-and-a-half decade has established himself as a strong Brahmin leader in Vindhya region of the state, which was considered a strong base of the Congress due to former Chief Minister (late) Arjun Singh and former Assembly Speaker (late) Sriniwas Tiwari untill 2013.
In the recently concluded Assembly elections, BJP won 25 out of 30 seats in the region, while it had bagged 24 seats in 2018. Probably, this made the BJP’s central leadership to recognise Shukla’s efforts in strengthening the party base in the region.
A day before his name was announced for the Deputy Cheif Minister post, Shukla told IANS that he takes it full responsibilty whatever job the party assigns to him.
“In 2018, BJP had won 24 seats from Vindhya region; therefore, I had full confidence that we will repeat the same result. When the results came, the number went up from 24 to 25,” he said.
His rising political graph wasn’t received well by some leaders of his own party and attempts were made to create hinderances for him. For instance, few days before the elections, some top BJP leaders brought his political rival Abhay Mishra back into to party fold. However, Mishra later again joined the Congress and won the election from Semaria seat of Rewa district, defeating former MLA K.P. Tripathi — a confident of Shukla.
Notably, even when Shukla wasn’t inducted in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet, he was the only MLA who was the part of the state BJP’s core committee. While rest of the members of the core committee were either state’s ministers, Union Ministers and Rajya Sabha MPs. Shukla, a soft-spoken politician, took his politics to a new height and earned popularity due to the development works he has done in Rewa in the past two decades. It was because of Shukla’s efforts that Rewa got an airport few months back. Earlier, when he was energy minister in Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s cabinet, he had brought the India’s largest solar project from the Centre to Rewa.
Shukla started his political carrier since his college days and had became president of Government Engineering College Student Union in 1986. He made his way into politics by contesting in 1998 Assembly election, which he lost to Congress candidate Pushparaj Singh by a close margin of 1,394 votes. He got elected to the Assembly for the first time in 2003, defeating incumbent Pushparaj Singh. Since then he remained undefeated so far.