Will Digvijaya Break The Bhopal Jinx?

Congress Leader Digvijaya Singh - Sakshi Post

Saumyaa Naidu

Bhopal:In a strategic move the Congress has decided to field former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal to contest the coming Lok Sabha election.

The party is yet to release the list of nominees. The chief minister and PCC chief Kamal Nath, however, made the announcement during a chat with news persons here on Saturday. Among faction leaders Digvijay Singh is seen as the only with pan- Madhya Pradesh connect.

Bhopal, Indore, Vidisha and Damoh are the four constituencies the Congress has not been able to wrest from the BJP for the past 30 years. The proposal to field Digvijay Singh follows Kamal Nath’s suggestion that the party must field its best candidates from such strongholds of BJP. The move is also seen as a way to deal with Digvijaya Singh who has embarrassed the party with his utterances.

Two other senior leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and former leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, Ajay Singh might be fielded from Gwalior and Sidhi respectively.

The party had conducted a survey for the state and decided to reshuffle its pack for upcoming elections. The Congress holds three out 29 seats in the outgoing Lok Sabha—Chhindwara, Guna and Ratlam.

The BJP which swept 27, later lost the Ratlam byelection to Kantilal Bhuria , former PCC chief. Scindia may shift to Gwalior after reports of possible dissensions within the party over his current constituency Guna. Kantilal Bhuria would contest from Ratlam. Though Congress’s new ally Jai Adivasi Yuva Sangathan (Jayas) has staked claim for four tribal seats, including Ratlam, it might settle for two and Bhuria would stay put in Ratlam.

Chief Minister and PCC chief Kamal Nath, who represents Chhindwara for past nine terms, would contest a by-election from the Chhindwara assembly seat to sustain his leadership of the House. His son Nakul Nath might contest the Chhindwara Lok Sabha seat.

Digvijaya Singh, was keen to join the fray from Rajgarh, is projected as a winning proposition from Bhopal, the seat Congress has failed to regain for past three decades. With nearly two million votes at stake Digvijaya Singh could provide a strong challenge to the BJP which has retained the constituency for five terms. The RSS was keen to field a senior

Ajay Singh, son of former chief minister Arjun Singh, lost the assembly election from the family stronghold of Churhat. He may move to Sidhi to contest the Lok Sabha seat. He had contested the previous Lok Sabha election from Satna and lost narrowly.

Dogged by factionalism the Congress remained out of power for three terms in Madhya Pradesh. Through the Assembly elections Digvijaya Singh was therefore asked to eliminate factionalism from the party and he travelled through the state to bring about rapprochement among diverse groups.

Digvijaya had announced self-imposed exile from electoral politics for ten years after Congress lost power in 2003. His critics termed the sanyas a delusional tactic.

He became part of the Congress’s central leadership. After his exile ended in 2013 Digvijay Singh was returned to Rajya Sabha in 2014.

Digvijaya Singh had commenced his Narmada Yatra on September 30, 2017, declaring it a private, religious journey. In six months, he covered 90 Asssembly constituencies on the banks of Narmada and “friends” from the BJP also welcomed him at various places.

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