Shivraj to visit Ashoknagar to bust myth

BHOPAL: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi showered praise on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for daring to bust the ‘Noida jinx’, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on Tuesday that he will break a similar myth by visiting Ashoknagar.
It’s said that any chief minister who visits Ashoknagar loses his chair. Local residents are ready to reel off a list of CMs who became former CMs after visiting Ashoknagar.
Chouhan wants to disprove the jinx. “I do not believe in misconceptions and I am not superstitious. I will break this myth very soon and surely visit Ashoknagar,” Chouhan told reporters at Guna during his visit to Piprai town of Ashoknagar district.
Ashoknagar, a sleepy town about 200km north of Bhopal, is home to the famous Chanderi saris and it’s said that Emperor Ashoka stayed here for a night while on his way to conquer Ujjain.

The town’s historical allure apparently isn’t enough to draw CMs. Locals tell you that the “curse” isn’t confined to Madhya Pradesh CMs. Lalu Yadav, they say, lost his chair soon after visiting the town. On the list of CMs who allegedly fell prey to the jinx are Dwarka Prasad Mishra, Sundarlal Patwa, Arjun Singh, Digvijaya Singh, Uma Bharti and Babulal Gaur. Shivraj Singh Chouhan hasn’t visited the district office during his 12-year tenure as CM.
There are myths about chief ministers and home ministers not staying the night in Ujjain, Gandhi Sagar (Mandsaur), a central office in Neemuch and Ichchawar (Sehore), too. Recently, Congress legislator from Ichchawar, Shailendra Patel, even raised the issue in assembly, seeking to know why CM Chouhan has not visited Ichchawar and whether it was due to the myth.
Chouhan is making a beginning with Ashoknagar. On Monday, PM Modi had said that anyone who has blind faith in myths does not deserve to be chief minister. He said that when he became the Gujarat chief minister, people advised him against visiting certain places but he deliberately visited all those places to bust the myth.
“Faith is important but blind faith is not desirable. If anybody thinks that not going to a place will prolong their CM tenure and visiting a place will curtail it, such a person does not deserve to be a CM,” the Prime Minister had said.