No Conflict Between Me and Jyotiraditya Scindia: Digvijay Singh
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Video Producer: Anubhav Mishra
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) had been in power for 15 years in Madhya Pradesh. But before the BJP turned the state saffron with three terms of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Congress leader Digvijay Singh was the chief minister of the state. Ahead of the 2018 Assembly polls that looks evenly poised according to most pre-poll surveys, The Quint spoke to Digvijay Singh on a plethora of issues like the reported internal conflicts in Congress, ticket distribution, the election manifesto, and more.
Will the delay in release name of candidates and party manifesto affect the party?
We released our manifesto before the BJP. I don’t know if the BJP has released their manifesto even now. The ticket selection process also took place before BJP’s. So, there was no delay at all.
Will the controversy regarding the mention of RSS shakhas in Congress manifesto affect the party’s chances?
You are talking about the wrong issue. We haven’t promised anything new. Even today, no central government officer is allowed to attend an RSS shakha. The Sangh isn’t allowed to open a shakha on the Central government’s premises. This order is followed in the entire country. Past BJP chief ministers like Virendra Kumar Saklecha, Kailash Joshi, Sunderlal Patwa, Uma Bharti or Babulal Gaur [didn’t allow it] and even Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been allowing this for only the last 2-3 years. So you are ignoring 99 percent of our promises but focusing on such issues that are pointless.
How will Congress deliver on the over 75 promises in the election manifesto when you claim that the MP government lacks resources?
Put us in power and we will tell you.
But doesn’t Congress batting for cowsheds while opposing RSS seem like double-speak?
No, not at all. Cowsheds were always there, under the panchayat and civil body administration. These people [BJP] had shut them down and we are reopening them. Is RSS the sole representative of Hindus? I am a good Hindu too but I don’t acknowledge RSS as representatives of Hindus.
If Congress represents all sections of society then why were only three Muslims given tickets?
We at least gave it to three Muslims. On the other hand, BJP has given a ticket to a Muslim candidate for the first time. And we are glad that at least now they have started respecting Muslims.
But what about the internal conflicts in your party?
We don’t have any internal conflict. In fact, there are internal conflicts in the BJP.
So, there is no issue between you and Jyotiraditya Scindia?
All of that is a lie. It was a lie spread by you people.
There are many seats in Karnataka & Gujarat where the margin of your win was within 1,500 votes. On ground level, BJP had an upper hand in those states. Has Congress taken any lesson from it for MP?
There is no such thing, we will get a clear majority in Madhya Pradesh.