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Digvijaya Singh Wants to Help Congress in MP, But Not Interested in Chief Ministership

The return of Digvijaya Singh comes in interesting times. Rahul Gandhi is now at the helm of affairs, and Digvijay was once considered to be his mentor.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18_pallavighosh

Updated:April 9, 2018, 2:22 PM IST
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Digvijaya Singh Wants to Help Congress in MP, But Not Interested in Chief Ministership
File Photo of Congress Leader Digvijaya Singh. (Photo Credits - Getty Images)
New Delhi: Political Adviser to former Congress president Ahmed Patel has for years shared a delicate relationship with Digvijaya Singh.

Interestingly, Patel was one of the first few Congress leaders to ‘commend Digvijaya Singh ji and his colleagues for their perseverance, dedication and conviction to protect Narmada’.

Circumambulating Narmada on foot, and out of active politics for more than six months, Digvijaya Singh’s next move - at the end of what the former Madhya Pradesh CM called ‘a long pending religious commitment’ - is now being watched closely, both within and outside the Congress.

In a subtle message to the party leadership on Monday, the erstwhile Raja of Raghogarh told reporters that with yatra over, he is back to his old vocation: politics.

Speaking to News18, Digvijaya said, “Happy to unseat the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh if high command wants me to. But I am not interested in being the Chief Minister of the state.”

The return of Digvijaya Singh comes in interesting times. Rahul Gandhi is now at the helm of affairs, and Digvijaya was once considered to be his mentor. Equations, however, seem to have changed in the last six months.

This could have a bearing on who calls the shots during Madhya Pradesh polls slated later this year. Rahul is yet to make it clear whether the Congress would declare a CM candidate for MP elections.

During the Congress plenary last month in Delhi, the bonhomie between Rahul and another contender Kamal Nath was more than apparent.

Digvijaya Singh’s yatra around Narmada was entwined to a complex political messaging aimed at an image makeover. Rewind to pre-2014 UPA rule.

Jury is still out on the impact of Digvijaya’s minority politics on Congress’ 2014 washout.

From demand for a re-look into the Batla house encounter to his controversial comments on ‘Osama ji’, there is a whole list which BJP used to build a perception around Congress.

Congress under Rahul has realised that an image of the party as a pro-minority outfit was only helping the BJP. The inflection in Congress’ stance was first noticed in Gujarat elections last year.

Rahul during the Gujarat campaign steered clear of any issue which he felt could be used to polarise the elections. His temple hopping run began then in Gujarat and continues full throttle in Karnataka.

During Narmada Yatra Digvijaya Singh has also attempted to do precisely that. He walked, he prayed at temples and met sants - a far cry from his image as ‘Maulana Digvijaya Singh’.

Fresh from the yatra, Digvijaya could help his party cash in on the Hindutva ticket.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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