BHOPAL/UJJAIN: Surprise is a key element of stick and sword fighting, both of which Madhya Pradesh’s CM-designate

Mohan Yadav

is skilled in.
On Monday, it was his turn to be taken by surprise — a pleasant one at that — as BJP chose to fall back on someone who’s been the party’s pillar in the temple city of Ujjain.
With a clutch of degrees under his belt, including a law degree, an MBA, and a PhD in political science, Yadav is as multi-faceted as they come.

In politics, he’s made his mark as a three-time MLA and a strong Hindutva voice, drawing on his long association with the RSS and its subsidiaries. As higher education minister in the previous government, Yadav included Ramcharitmanas as one of the new optional chapters for undergraduate students in philosophy, along with lessons on the “miraculous engineering of Ram Setu” and the ideals of Ram Rajya.

These steps, announced in September 2021, were part of an attempt to inculcate “values and balanced leadership” among the youth. “Ramcharitmanas, yoga and meditation will be taught in colleges for the all-round development of students,” Yadav said.
Yadav won his first

in 1982, when he contested the student union polls at Madhav Science College in Ujjain. He was elected joint secretary. Two years later, he became the president.

He went on to hold several posts in ABVP at Ujjain and the state-level before becoming its national secretary in 1990-92. He was an active RSS functionary between 1993 and 1995, displaying enough organisational abilities to be made state president of the Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha.
Yadav’s interest in local development issues earned him the post of Ujjain Development Authority chairperson from 2004 till 2010. His work in that role fetched him a party ticket to contest the Ujjain South seat.
He was elected thrice from this constituency — in 2013, 2018 and 2023 — winning the last election by a margin of 12,941 votes against Congress’ Chetan Premnarayan Yadav.
During his second term as MLA, Yadav was made higher education minister in July 2020.
Yadav the fitness enthusiast is as serious in pursuing his hobbies as he is in politics. There are numerous videos of him showing him stick-fighting and swinging swords. He is the vice president of the


Olympic Association and president of the MP Wrestling Association.
The CM-designate’s elder sister, Kalavati Yadav, is the Ujjain Municipal Corporation chairperson. He and his wife Seema have two sons — Vaibhav, a doctor, and Abhimanyu, a lawyer.
Yadav is the second


from Ujjain in 51 years after Prakash Chandra Sethi had got the responsibility in 1972.

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