BHOPAL: The recent diatribe against ex-chief minister Digvijaya Singh seems to have cost Madhya Pradesh forest minister Umang Singhar a place among the Congress’s 40-star campaigners for the crucial October 21 Jhabua assembly by-election. The forest minister, also a three-time sitting MLA from Gandhwani assembly seat of Dhar district, hasn’t found a place among the star campaigners of the party for the by-election. Ex-Union minister Kantilal Bhuria (considered a Digvijaya loyalist) is the Congress candidate from the seat.
The long list, includes all senior leaders, including the party’s national president Sonia Gandhi, former president Rahul Gandhi, ex-PM Manmohan Singh, CM Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, ex-union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, 10 sitting ministers, 11 sitting MLAs, besides Congress politicians and legislators from neighbouring Gujarat. But nowhere does Singhar’s name figure in the list. This despite the fact that he is considered a popular face among the majority Bheel voters in the Jhabua seat, which Congress lost to BJP in 2013 and 2018 state polls.
Not only is Singhar’s name missing from the star campaigners’ list, he is also not among the nine ministers in the Kamal Nath government, who have been asked to supervise poll campaign in seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribe. The list of ministers tasked by Nath to supervise campaigning across the constituency includes Bala Bachchan and Omkar Singh Markam, among others.