Family together after a long time, but Chouhan says no time to relax

Shivraj Singh ChouhanChouhan has forbidden celebrations till results are in. However, the family says, victory is sure. Praveen Khanna

The official bungalow of the Madhya Pradesh chief minister on Bhopal's Shyamla Hills overlooks the picturesque Badi Jheel, probably the most cherished perk that comes with the highest political office in the state. It's doubtful though how much time busy CMs get to enjoy the natural beauty.

It's been a fortnight since polling got over in the state, but Shivraj Singh Chouhan hasn't found time to savour it either. As visitors get sweets and flowers, he insists he is in no mood for premature celebrations and will not talk about Sunday's outcome.

After addressing over 150 rallies in own state, he even campaigned for the December 1 Rajasthan polls before calling it a day. All that over, he made a round of temples in Salkanpur, Ujjain, Datia and Omkareshwar.

The only family outing was to Ratapani sanctuary, not far from Bhopal. Rather reluctantly, he confesses to having also taken time out for bhel at Indore's famous Chhappan Dukan, a street-food paradise.

Sadhna Singh shakes her head at the frugal diet that sustains the CM of eight years. "He often made do with a rolled roti and a half (on campaign)," she says. "It was so hectic that he would go to sleep around 2 am and leave early in the morning."

"I did have dal bati at home after campaigning was over," Chouhan avers. "Where is the time to relax?"

Sadhna admits he is not fussy about food and likes it simple. In fact, the family's only known outings all these years have been to Indian Coffee House.

While Chouhan campaigned across the state, Sadhna took care of campaigning in Vidisha, and Kartikeya, the elder of their two sons, managed affairs in Budhni. The party's decision to field Chouhan from both Vidisha and Budhni kept all three of them busy, and November 25 polling day was the first time they were together in days. Chouhan's younger son Kunal studies in a school outside the state while Kartikeya is pursuing a law degree in a college in Maharashtra.

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