No need to stand for Madhya Pradesh state song; CM Yadav overturns Chouhan’s resolution

CM orders transfer of an officer who got shoe laces tied by a woman employee

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav | PTI Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav | PTI

The attempts of Madhya Pradesh’s new chief minister Mohan Yadav to make his own mark in BJP-led governance that was headed for over 16 years by Shivraj Singh Chouhan, are continuing.

On Thursday, the chief minister overturned a resolution made by Chouhan, when he said that there was no need to stand for the ‘Madhya Pradesh Gaan’ (state song).

At a programme in Bhopal organised to hand over appointment letters to state services officers, Yadav gestured for the guests on dais and the newly appointed officers to sit down while the ‘Madhya Pradesh Gaan’ was being played. He then said that every state, institution or organization could have their specific songs, but these songs could not be equated with the national anthem or national song and did not require similar honour.

On November 1, 2022, the then chief minister Chouhan had urged people to take a resolution to stand up in respect for the Madhya Pradesh Gaan, so as to honour the state.

The Madhya Pradesh Gaan ‘sukh ka daata, sab ka saathi, shubh ka yeh sandesh hai; maa ki god, pitaa ka aashray, mera Madhya Pradesh hai’, (the giver of happiness, the friend of all, it is the message of auspiciousness; mother’s lap, father’s shelter is my Madhya Pradesh) is played at all government functions in the state.

Since he took over as the chief minister in December 2023, succeeding four-time chief minister Chouhan, Yadav has been trying to display a different style of functioning. Close to the RSS, Yadav took some tough decisions to ban loudspeakers at religious places and sale of meat and fish in the open – taking a strong right-wing stance. 

In a first for an MP chief minister, Yadav has retained the home portfolio for himself. 

The chief minister also removed many officers including divisional commissioners, district collectors and superintendents of police for falling short of measure, during his just over a month tenure. Also, Yadav transferred officers known to be close to Chouhan and those who were on crucial posts for a long time.

On Thursday morning, Yadav directed the transfer of a sub-divisional magistrate from Chitrangi in Singrauli district for getting his shoe laces tied by a woman employee.

The SDM, Aswan Ram Chirawan reportedly had an injury in his leg and could not bend down to tie shoelaces after coming out of the temple where minister Radha Singh was visiting on January 22. The woman employee then tied his shoe laces and photographs and videos of this incident went viral on social media. 

Though both the officer and the woman employee insisted that Chirawan did not direct his shoe laces to be tied and the employee did it voluntarily, the CM directed his transfer.

Addressing the newly-appointed officers during the Bhopal programme, Yadav asked them not to have an ego in public dealing and to work in a dignified manner. 

“We got to know the SDM was injured. This might be his personal matter, but what message does the incident send to the public? Who will go and ask him whether he was unwell or not? This will impact the entire society. If he was unwell, he could have taken a leave. You got your shoe laces tied publicly. We are not suspending you, but removing you from there. Next time you will remember what you’re doing,” Yadav said.

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