BHOPAL: Veteran Congress leader and two-time former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh hinted towards retiring from active politics on Wednesday.
Addressing an election rally in Bori area of Jhabua district in support of close confidant and party candidate Kantilal Bhuria, Singh said, "Both me and Kantilal Bhuria have done a lot of politics and have now attained an age where we should retire."
"We’re now preparing new boys, who are working under us. I’ve also contested several elections and now Kantilal Bhuria too is contesting his last elections. Each and every vote should go to Kantilal Bhuria for the services he has rendered to you since 1980)," added Singh.
Singh’s speech was not only seen as an emotional appeal to voters for backing the 69-year-old ex-union ministerBhuria (who was also a minister in the erstwhile MP government headed by Singh) in the October 21 assembly by-election where he is up against 37-year-old BJP candidate Bhanu Bhuria.
It’s also being seen among political quarters as a signal by Singh about his possible departure from active electoral politics – just a few months after his return to electoral politics after a 16-year long gap which ended with a defeat against BJP’s Pragya Thakur from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.
Singh was elected to the upper house of the Parliament on April 2014 and his term as Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh expires on April 9, 2020.
The 72-year-old Rajya Sabha member also made another far-reaching political statement by saying that the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh will continue for full five years under the leadership of present CM Kamal Nath – thus putting an end to speculation about a change of guard (leadership) in the government in future.
Speculations have been rife about the health of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government particularly in the wake of internal tussles among various factions in Congress, exposed by recent public statements by senior party leaders, particularly Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Also, BJP leaders, like Kailash Vijayvargiya, Narottam Mishra and Gopal Bhargava too have been often claiming about the days of the Congress government being numbered in the state.
Also, a day after Narayan Tripathi, the legislator from Maihar seat (who deserted BJP during a crucial vote in Vidhan Sabha on July 24) returned to the saffron party fold in Bhopal, the Congress veteran said that Tripathi was still in contact with the Congress.
Singh also backed the acting chief of Sikh body Akal Takht’s Giani Harpreet Singh’s call for banning the RSS. On Tuesday, the Sikh body’s acting jathedar (head priest) had reportedly called for banning the RSS – BJP’s parent outfit – saying it’s (RSS’s) aim of Hindu Rashtra was against country’s interests.