NEW DELHI: The Congress hopes to gain from veteran Digvijaya Singh’s recently concluded Narmada parikrama in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, but is not sure how it will benefit the party in upcoming elections.
Over the past six months, Singh’s arduous 3,300-km long yatra generated enough buzz in the state and Congress leaders of all ranks rushed to attend the foot march.
“It was a tough yatra... it will help the party,” AICC in charge of Madhya Pradesh Deepak Babaria said.
“It was a religious yatra, unlike the political propaganda of BJP leaders. It will certainly help us,” said an AICC leader.
Though that is the general sentiment in the party, Singh’s political ambitions and the old rivalry between regional satraps in the state are also being discussed within Congress.“No doubt Digvijaya is a senior leader and wields considerable influence as he has been chief minister twice. The timing of his yatra was crucial. Will the personal gains for Singh from the yatra accrue to the party remains to be seen,” a senior AICC functionary said.
He was referring to the tussle between three power centres in MP Congress—Digvijaya, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia—which will have to be death with by Rahul Gandhi ahead of the assembly polls.
Party insiders said Rahul, who wanted to declare Scindia as the party’s CM face, had to withhold a decision after Kamal Nath threw his hat in the ring.
Significantly, while Kamal Nath was present in Narsinhpur at the conclusion of Digvijaya’s yatra, Scindia was missing. Singh, on his part, said Rahul and Sonia Gandhi would decide on the CM nominee and it was not for the leaders to demand the same. Babaria however, claimed the party was united. “There are no differences. In fact the yatra will unite them,” he said.