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'Narmada Parikrama' May Lead to Revival of Brand Digvijaya Singh in Madhya Pradesh Politics

The 190-day long ‘non-political journey’ undertaken by the 70-year-old was a 3,345 km walk covering 110 assembly constituencies and it speaks volumes about the objectives of this campaign.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:April 9, 2018, 9:53 AM IST
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'Narmada Parikrama' May Lead to Revival of Brand Digvijaya Singh in Madhya Pradesh Politics
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh with his wife Amrita Rai during the Narmada Parikrama.
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Bhopal: Digvijaya Singh has always been a force to reckon with in Madhya Pradesh politics, irrespective of whether he is in power or not. With the much-hyped Narmada Parikrama concluding on Monday, it would be interesting to see what the two-time chief minister does next.

The 190-day long ‘non-political journey’ undertaken by the 70-year-old was a 3,345 km yatra covering 110 Assembly constituencies and it speaks volumes about the objectives of this campaign.

Those who know Singh are aware that the journey could catapult him back into the limelight and set alarm bells ringing for both the Bharatiya Janata Party and his opponents within the Congress.

Ahead of the 2003 Assembly elections, Singh had announced that he would quit politics for 10 years if he lost, which he eventually did. Despite his self-imposed exile ending in 2013, Singh did not return to active politics and his ground connect definitely took a beating.

The leader’s yatra, though, saw huge crowds and politicians across party lines joined him, wherever he went. This could be indicative of the clout that Digvijaya Singh could muster after the culmination of his journey on April 9 in Narsinghpur.

During the UPA rule, Singh was often accused of minority appeasement but the presence of seers and other religious heads in his yatra could come handy, if and when he ventures into mainstream politics.

Dubbed as the leader of the working-class, Singh has definitely forged public connect after interacting with the masses during his journey and listening to their ordeals, issues.

The Congress leader did use the platform to attack the state government over issues like Bhavantar, law and order, lack of MSP offered to farmers and illegal mining in Narmada riverbed among others.

His fellow partymen are well aware of the possible amplification in his stature and have rallied around him at various stages of the yatra. Those seen matching steps with Singh include Congress bigwigs such as Kamal Nath, Suresh Pachauri, Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot, Kantilal Bhuria, Arun Yadav and Deepak Babaria.

Congress insiders claim that soon after the yatra, the scion of Raghogarh princely state could emerge as prominent opponent for CM aspirants — Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Arun Yadav.

Even if Singh refrains from presenting his candidature for the CM post, he could still helm Congress affairs in Madhya Pradesh. His elevation in the state Congress could very well benefit his son and Raghogarh MLA Jaivardhan Singh.

His entry into active politics in Madhya Pradesh would only add spice to the already charged atmosphere in an election year.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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