Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was finally seen campaigning for the Congress in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections 2018. A Chief Minister of the state for 10 years, the Congress leader had stayed out of the campaign scene so far, with BJP saying that his presence would have hurt the Congress. Singh had admitted that his remarks end up hurting the Congress more than benefiting it. A video with Singh saying that the party may lose votes if he campaigns in the elections had gone viral last month.
Speaking in public for the first time, Singh challenged chief minister Shivraj Chouhan to debate on the work done under BJP’s 15-year rule against Congress’ 10 years.
“Again and again, they say ‘Digvijaya Singh’s 10 years and our 15 years’… I challenge Shivraj Singh Chouhan to come on one stage and debate on his 15 years and my 10 years. Aapko saahas ho to aa jaiye,” Digvijaya Singh said in Indore.
He added that no corruption allegations were levelled against him in his 10-year rule. “I was CM for 10 years, no corruption allegation was levelled against me… there wasn’t one case of corruption involving big minister and CM,” Singh had said. “When Uma Bharti levelled allegations against me I brought her to court… it’s been 15 years, she couldn’t level even one allegation and is on bail,” Singh said.
On Sunday, PM Narendra Modi said in Indore that Congress took the decision to keep the former chief minister away from canvassing so that it can hide the “sins” of its 55-year rule. “If he (Digvijay) campaigns, people will remember the poor infrastructure like road, power during his rule in the state,” Modi said. Sanitation facilities have reached 92 per cent of people from 34 per cent in 2014, Modi said, adding, “achieving this would have taken 12 generations (of Gandhi family).”
The prime minister also said that though BJP was in power in MP for 15 years, Chouhan effectively got only four-and-a-half years to work as former PM Manmohan Singh-led UPA government was biased against BJP-ruled states.