You cannot ignore Digvijay Singh

You cannot ignore Digvijay Singh

From taking on right-wing groups over terrorist activities to mentoring Rahul Gandhi to vehemently criticizing yoga guru Baba Ramdev's fast against corruption, the 64-year-old Digvijay Singh alias Diggy Raja is turning to be a 'maverick' leader of the grand old political party.

Born in Raghogarh royal principality in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh, Singh, who was chief minister in the heartland of India between 1993 and 2003, is yet again not only controlling affairs of the state Congress committee but also leading the party in the centre as far as the recent Ramdev fiasco is concerned.

After the 2003 defeat, Singh had taken self-imposed exile for 10 years from Madhya Pradesh politics, but as his self-exile slowly nears an end, his grip on party affairs in the state has become stronger.

Sources told IANS the Congress general secretary played a major role in the appointment of  new Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kantilal Bhuria, new Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh (son of late Arjun Singh) and  new Youth Congress chief Priyavrat Singh.

"Earlier, Digvijay Singh used to create a wave with his remarks, but recently his bold comments, specially on the Sangh Parivar over terrorist attack links and defending his talks with ATS chief Hemant Karkare before he got killed, have given the Congress an edge over the BJP and the RSS on the issue," N.D. Sharma, a political analyst, told IANS.
In the ongoing corruption issue, the "specific" remarks of Digvijay Singh on Ramdev, that he took donation from a rookie in Ujjain and his aide Balkrishna is a native of Nepal, had weakened the agitation of the yoga guru over corruption and black money.

The author of "Sonia" and "24 Akbar Road", Rasheed Kidwai, who has been covering the Congress for more than a decade, told IANS: "Presently, the top three functionaries of the Congress party - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party president Sonia Gandhi and its general secretary Rahul Gandhi - do not react immediately on any issue. There is a void in the party and  Digvijay Singh is filling it."

"The party also thinks that his remarks have benefited the Congress in the recent Assam and Kerala assembly polls; so now he is being backed by the party too, like it happened in the Ramdev fast issue."

"The advantage with Digvijay Singh is he is a full-time politician; whether he remains in Delhi, or Bhopal or in his own native place Raghogarh, he does politics," added Kidwai.
But everyone does not agree with Singh giving an answer on every query. "You just put a question before Digvijay Singh and he is ready with an answer; sometimes it becomes tough for the party to defend him like it had happened when he used 'Osamaji' for Osama bin Laden," said a senior Congress leader who requested anonymity.

Interestingly, the BJP national leaders may condemn the remarks of Digvijay Singh but leaders in Madhya Pradesh prefer not to comment on his statements.

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