Ruling himself out as a chief ministerial aspirant, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh has said that he would travel across poll-bound Madhya Pradesh to unite his party to defeat the BJP which is in power in the state for 15 years.
The state goes to polls later this year and Singh, who was its chief minister between 1993 and 2003, said that he has conveyed his plan of a state-wide tour to Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
He, however, insisted that it should not be seen as an attempt to push his candidature for the chief ministerial post and asserted that there was “no question” of him being a contender for the job.
“I will take up the challenge of putting all Congress workers together in each assembly segment and district. And for that, some senior party leaders, who are not aspirants of any ticket, assembly or parliamentary elections, would work with me,” Singh said.
“We will go to every district and bring all workers together. We hope to start by May 15 and travel throughout the state. Who will become chief minister, ministers or MLAs, all these can be discussed later,” the 71-year-old Congress general secretary added.
Singh recently returned from a self-imposed sabbatical after concluding ‘Narmada Parkirama’ of over 3,300 km on foot in six months.
The yatra, an arduous pilgrimage considered very holy by the faithful, has given him a political boost, many political watchers believe, as it has helped him connect with the masses and the Congress’ rank and file across the big state, and put a string of controversies behind him.
Asked about reports suggesting that he has supported Kamal Nath as the next chief minister if the Congress wins the polls, Singh said that he had only reiterated his stand of 2008.
“During my Parikrama, journalists came to me and said that Digvijay ji you had talked about Kamal Nath becoming chief minister in 2008. I said, yes I had said so. So, the journalists asked me what my opinion is now. I said I don’t change my decisions. Rest, Rahul Gandhi ji will decide what he has to. Then the journalists ran a story saying Digvijay Singh supports Kamal Nath,” the veteran leader said.
Rahul Gandhi recently restructured the Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit by appointing Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia as its president and campaign committee chairman respectively. He also named four working presidents for the state namely, Bala Bachchan, Ramnivas Rawat, Jitu Patwari and Surender Choudhary as part of the organisation changes.
Singh also pitched for allowing party MLAs pick their legislature leader in Parliamentary democracy.