Before the gas accident, a Bhopal lawyer called Babulal Gaur was involved in a dispute between Union Carbide and local farmers who claimed their cattle were being poisoned by the factory. Later Gaur became a minister in the local BJP government and to him fell the duty of caring for the city’s gas survivors.
He (Babulal Gaur) told the Christian Science Monitor that the groundwater was contaminated and complained that the previous Congress state government had tried to hush the matter up. In May of that year India’s Supreme Court ordered the state to supply clean water to the poisoned communities. Gaur’s government ignored this order.
A year passed and a group of women and children went to government offices to ask why nothing had been done. They were savagely beaten, punched and kicked by the police. A month later Gaur, by now the Chief Minister, announced an ambitious Rs 600 crore plan to beautify the city with ornamental fountains and badminton courts.
Turning a deaf ear to criticism both from within and outside the BJP, Madhya Pradesh CM Babulal Gaur went ahead and appointed his daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur as the chairperson of the Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Corporation. She has been given a ministerial rank and the perks of a cabinet minister. Krishna Gaur, who has been a housewife till now took over the office on Thursday morning. Peeved BJP leaders were unable to say whether she is a member of the party and no one knew of her educational qualifications. Babulal Gaur’s son Purushottam Gaur died of a heart attack in October last year. Three weeks after Purushottam’s death, Krishna Gaur was seen accompanying the chief minister for most of his functions. Link
Even as Gaur was gloating over Jamuna Devi’s complaint against Chauhan and his wife, the Bhopal media splashed a story (attributed to unidentified sources) that Gaur’s daughter-in-law Krishna Gaur was also guilty of the same offence as Sadhna Singh. Krishna Gaur had, so goes the story, purchased three trucks and got them registered at the Rewa RTO on October 5,2005 (Babulal Gaur was then chief minister). Krishna Gaur had given her wrong residential address (JP Nagar) as Sadhna Singh had done. Krishna’s trucks, too, had been leased out to JP Associates. Link
With growing dissent in the party rank and file over her appointment, the BJP top brass in Madhya Pradesh today eased out Chief Minister Babulal Gaur’s daughter-in-law, Krishna Gaur, from the post of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation chief. Her appointment, about 10 days back, had fuelled speculation that the Chief Minister was looking for his political heir. Gaur had lost his only son, Purshottam, to a cardiac arrest about six months ago. Link
The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh is in a dilemma over the constituency from which the Madhya Pradesh Commercial Tax Minister and former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur would contest next month’s Assembly elections in the State. The question being asked in political circles with regard to Mr. Gaur is if he would contest from his traditional constituency of Govindpura in Bhopal or the veteran leader would make way for his daughter-in-law and State Women Morcha vice-president Krishna Gaur to fight in his place. In case this happens, Mr. Gaur will stake his candidature for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat. Mr. Gaur who has won six times consecutively from the Govindpura seat, may not be in the fray this time for the Assembly polls and his daughter-in-law may fight from there, party sources said on condition of anonymity. “If party gives me a ticket from Govindpura seat, I will surely contest from there if Babulal Gaurji allow me to do so,” she (Krishna Gaur) says. Link
It’s clearly advantage for the BJP from the beginning. Krishna Gaur appears a strong candidate compared to Congress’ Abha Singh, whose name was announced after much deliberations. In the end, Suresh Pachouri’s writ prevailed. BJP candidate Krishna Gaur who is former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur’s daughter-in-law has long been in the public domain, and is a familiar face in Bhopal. Abha Singh is the wife of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. She says that her father Thakur Balram Singh was not just the Mayor in Bilaspur but was also elected as an MLA. The Congress candidate said that she was in politics for a long time and was in the legal cell of the state Congress. Though it will be foolish to call her lightweight, the truth is that a much stronger candidate was expected from the Congress. Though Pachouri is confident that Abha would crack down on Krishna and snatch away the pivotal seat due to several reasons. Sitting Mayor Sunil Sood has vouched to accompany Abha on her campaigning and several other leaders in close circles of Pachouri would also be seen besides her. The state Congress chief himself would largely be sticking to Bhopal as this has again turned out to be prestige issue. A very senior and influential leader of the party openly commented before the PCC chief that Bhopal choice might have been wrong. Many strong contenders were left aside to promote Abha, he said. She really does not stand a chance before Krishna Gaur. Though Pachouri did not like the comment, but he is sure worried about the decision and would give maximum time to Bhopal polls. Link
Mr. Gaur, a former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, said the State government has sought Rs. 116 crore from the Centre to build a memorial for the victims in the factory premises spread over an area of 67 acres. However, he said that people would not be allowed to enter the Factory unit which once manufactured pesticides, adding the visitors can see it from a distance. Link
December 16 2009
Daughter-in-law of Babulal Gaur, Krishna Gaur, defeated Abha Singh of Congress by 15,321 votes as per result declared at 1:30 AM on December 16th 2009