Shivraj calls self ‘ big­gest poll­ster’, pre­dicts win

The Asian Age - - Front Page - AGE COR­RE­SPON­DENT

D a t i a ( M a d h y a P r a d e s h ) , Dec. 8: As the exit polls pre­dicted a tight race with the

C o n g r e s s , Mad­hya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Satur­day ex­pressed con­fi­dence that the BJP would win a com­fort­able ma­jor­ity in the As­sem­bly elec­tion to form a gov­ern­ment for the fourth con­sec­u­tive time

“I am the big­gest sur­veyor ( poll­ster) as I re­main in the midst of pub­lic all day long. The BJP is set to romp home,” he said af­ter vis­it­ing the Shree Pi­ta­m­bara Peeth tem­ple.

He was asked about exit polls pre­dict­ing a close fight be­tween the BJP and the Congress.

“We have got the bless­ings of ev­ery sec­tion of so­ci­ety in the elec­tions and we are on the way to win the polls,” he claimed. Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi on Satur­day latched on to the re­marks of the Army of­fi­cer who had over­seen the 2016 sur­gi­cal strikes across the LoC to train his guns at Prime Minister Naren­dra Modi for us­ing them to gain political cap­i­tal.

“Spo­ken like a true sol­dier Gen­eral. In­dia is so proud of you. Mr 36 has ab­so­lutely no shame in us­ing our mil­i­tary as a per­sonal as­set. He used the sur­gi­cal strikes for political cap­i­tal and the Rafale deal to in­crease Anil Am­bani’s real cap­i­tal by 30,000 cr. # Sur­gi­calStrike ( sic),” Mr Gandhi, who has of­ten in the past ac­cused the Prime Minister of us­ing a rou­tine mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion to boost his im­age as a de­ci­sive and fear­less leader, tweeted.

For­mer North­ern Army Com­man­der Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda ( Retd), who mon­i­tored live video feed of the sur­gi­cal strikes on ter­ror­ist launch pads across the bor­der in Septem­ber 2016, had said at an event in Chandigarh on Fri­day that con­stant main­te­nance of “too much hype” around mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions was un­war­ranted.

“In hind­sight, it would have been bet­ter had we done it ( sur­gi­cal strikes) se­cretly,” he said, trig­ger­ing a ma­jor con­tro­versy.

Re­act­ing to Lt. Gen. Hooda’s com­ments, Army Chief Gen­eral Bipin Rawat on Satur­day termed it as an “in­di­vid­ual per­son’s per­cep­tion”.

“Lt. Gen. Hooda was one of the main per­sons in­volved in these op­er­a­tions… I re­spect his words very much,” Gen.

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