Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren today joined the list of Chief Ministers who have been booed at events where they co-starred with the Prime Minister.
The PM inaugurated a major power plant in Jharkhand today, which will vote soon for its next government, along with Haryana and Maharashtra, whose chief ministers are from the Congress and know a little of what Mr Soren went through. He was heckled loudly during his speech; the PM urged the crowd to pipe down and listen to him. Mr Soren heads a coalition government which includes the Congress. 'The PM should learn from this... it is a black day for the federal system,' said Mr Soren. (Also Read: Highlights of PM Modi's Speech)
After being jeered at two events last week where Mr Modi was present, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will be absent today when the PM inaugurates the metro rail project in Nagpur, which is being built by the state government in partnership with the Centre. (Boo Alert. Maharashtra Chief Minister Won't Share Stage With PM)
We are not insulted that the Chief Minister is skipping the PM's function, said BJP leader Vinod Tawde, describing Mr Chavan's declared no-show as an over-reaction.
On Tuesday, another Congress chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda of Haryana, vowed he will never share the stage again' with the PM because crowds booed him and cheered Mr Modi at a public event. The PM urged the audience to stop its chants, but Mr Hooda was forced to rush through the speech that he was delivering. (I Will Never Share Stage With PM Modi Again, Says Haryana Chief Minister Hooda)
Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand will choose their next governments soon, and the BJP hopes to evict the Congress in these states.
The Congress claims the BJP engineers large-scale booing to humiliate chief ministers and maintains that 'no self-respecting Chief Minister will attend functions if BJP supporters boo Chief Ministers in the presence of PM Modi.' Party spokesperson Shobha Oza said, "It is a conspiracy by the BJP to humiliate our leaders.
The BJP says that the Congress must recognise that public sentiment has turned against it after years of inept governance. 'He is not the PM of the BJP,' said party leader Nalin Kohli. 'Mr Modi is the PM of India, and if people take his name with enthusiasm, I think it is a matter of pride.