BHOPAL: In a significant development for Madhya Pradesh politics, two-time former chief minister and Congress national general secretary Digvijaya Singh announced on Monday that he was not contest for chief ministership in the 2018 state Assembly polls.
Digvijaya Singh who was chief minister of Madhya Pradesh from 1993 to 2003, before the Congress lost power to the BJP, made the crucial announcement at the Kisan and Yuva Kranti Sammelan organised by the Opposition party as a show of unity among its leadership in Lahar town of Bhind district.
Putting all political speculations to rest, the 70-year-old veteran Congress leader said neither he, nor AICC general secretary in-charge for MP Mohan Prakash or national party spokesperson Raj Babbar were contending in the race.
This means the race for Congress’ CM’s face for the 2018 polls is largely between party chief whip in the Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Union minister and Chhindwara MP Kamal Nath.
Digvijaya Singh made the announcement at the stage packed with many senior Congress leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kamal Nath, Mohan Prakash, Raj Babbar, besides Rajya Sabha member Vivek Tankha, state Congress president Arun Yadav and leader of opposition in state assembly Ajay Singh ‘Rahul’.
Digvijaya Singh also equated Monday’s crowded rally with the 1992 Dabra Sammelan in Gwalior district, which had shown a united Congress leadership in the presence of then senior leaders Arjun Singh and Madhavrao Scindia.
“Even the clime today is the same as the 1992 Dabra Sammelan as the rain god then too had ushered trickle of rain after prolonged dry spell. The people are fed up with the tainted BJP government and will uproot it in 2018,” said Digvijaya Singh.
Addressing the gathering, Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia said the Congress will always remember June 6 as a black day, when farmers protesting peacefully for their demands were gunned down by police in Mandsaur.
“The people will never forgive those in power in Madhya Pradesh now and will teach them a lesson next year,” said Jyotiraditya Scindia.
The stage of the rally saw the garlanded pictures of the six farmers killed in Mandsaur district in June. Six earthen pots representing the Vyapam scam, sand mining scam, dumper scam, false promises and the alleged Simhastha scam were broken by Congress workers in protest against the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.