BHOPAL: Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh dared the government to arrest him if he had links with the naxalites.
"Agar aisa hai toh mujhe takkal giraftar karein. Pahle deshdrohi aur ab naksali, toh isliye mujhe yahin se giraftar karein (first I was dubbed a traitor and now a naxalite. If it's so then I must me arrested from here only)," said Singh while talking to journalists in Satna district of assembly poll-bound MP on Tuesday.
Singh's statements came just a short while after BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged in New Delhi that the police raids at the whereabouts of alleged naxal elements and sympathizers led the raiding team to a "phone number that belonged to none other than Rahul Gandhi's mentor and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. Singh hasn't clarified that it's not his number and thus, has accepted that it's his."
Earlier on July 26, a week after MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan remarked that Digvijaya Singh's acts were akin to desh-droh (treason/sedition), Singh had went to the TT Nagar police station in Bhopal to court arrest.
The streets of state capital Bhopal had witnessed a huge show of strength of sorts by Singh, as thousands of supporters and Congress workers, carrying the party flags followed their leader on the road leading to the TT Nagar police station.
Singh who led the procession from the MP Congress Committee headquarters in Bhopal to the TT Nagar police station was later allowed to go inside the police station along with a handful of Congress leaders, Once into the TT Nagar police station premises, Singh asked the on-duty police officers to arrest him, if there was any sedition/treason committed by him, as remarked by the CM.
"The on-duty cops told me that I couldn't be arrested as there was no case of desh-droh (sedition/treason) against me. Once told that there was no case of sedition/treason against me, I told that a case of defamation then needs to lodged against the man (CM), who has publicly stated that my acts amount to desh-droh," Singh had told journalists outside the TT Nagar police station in Bhopal on July 26. Earlier, on Tuesday the BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra had earlier in the day made serious allegations towards the Congress, accusing them of supporting naxals and 'romanticising' their movement.
"There are some who have romanticised Naxalism within the Congress party. The biggest example of this was the National Advisory Council (NAC) which was set up by Congress. NAC was the brainchild of Sonia Gandhi and those closest to her. That body was the ground for supporting Naxalism," Patra said.
He was referring to the alleged involvement of human-rights activist Surendra Gadling and a 'Comrade Prakash' in Maoist activities.
"A letter between two comrades, Surendra and Prakash, dated 25 September 2017 has been found in recent raids. A line in letter reads 'Congress leaders are very much willing to assist in this process and have also agreed to fund further agitations whenever such opportunities arrive'," Patra said.
On August 27, the Pune police raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in different states and arrested five of them. The Supreme Court ordered that the five be kept under house arrest until September 6 while their plea is being heard. Varavara Rao in Hyderabad, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Gautam Navlakha in Delhi were among those arrested for alleged links with Maoists.