BHOPAL: Two time former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and Congress candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat Digvijaya Singh has come under BJP’s attack for not exercising his franchise in Rajgarh parliamentary constituency on Sunday.
Despite being a registered voter in home town Raghogarh assembly segment of Rajgarh seat (which neighbours Bhopal), the Congress candidate didn’t travel to Rajgarh to vote for close aide and Congress candidate Mona Sustani, as he was preoccupied with zipping through polling booths.
Spearheading BJP’s attack on Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised the issue, while addressing an election rally on Monday in Ratlam, where polls are slated in the last phase on May 19.
“By not exercising franchise in the elections on Sunday, Diggy Raja (Digvijaya Singh) has committed a sin. Are you going to inspire the first time voter to vote in this manner? Even I flew to Ahmadabad to vote, while the President and Vice President too stood in the queue to vote in the ongoing general elections. Not voting in the election shows his (Digvijaya’s arrogance),” said Modi.
“This act has shown that he (Digvijaya) didn’t care for electoral democracy or his duty as a voter, he was only concerned about his political future in Bhopal, voters come and vote and save me. Even the Narmada Parikrama couldn’t save me, so Bhopal residents you vote and save me, else I would leave my job. He was in tears yesterday,” said Modi mocking Singh over not voting in Rajgarh.
In the same vein, Modi, added, “In democracy, you may like or dislike someone, you might not be sharing good equations with your CM or even not be liking the party candidate, it’s the matter of your house and family. You should have at least gone inside (polling booth) and returned even without pressing the finger, but instead you boycotted the vote over internal tussles. Diggy Raja, you’re not even afraid of Zakir Naik then what made you fear the people of your own area.”
Former Shivraj Singh Chouhan also mocked Singh over skipping voting on Sunday. “Skipping vote by a man who has twice been a chief minister of the state, shows his commitment to electoral democracy.”
The BJP candidate from Bhopal seat, Pragya Singh Thakur also fired verbal salvos at Singh over skipping his vote and went to the extent of demanding that Election Commission annul his candidature in the election.”
While Singh didn’t respond to barbs on his non-vote by BJP leaders, including the PM, Congress state spokesperson JP Dhanopiya responded saying, “PM’s utterances show the level to which he can stoop to in public discourse. How can a candidate go to another constituency to vote on the day when there is election in the constituency from where he is self contesting. Before targeting our leader over skipping vote, the BJP should question external affairs minister and sitting MP from Vidisha seat Sushma Swaraj, as to why she didn’t travel to Vidisha to cast her vote,” said Dhanopiya.