In an apparent dig on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s brand of citizen activism, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Wednesday said emergence of AAP on the national scene was testimony to the fact that issues cannot be resolved on streets but only through democratic ways.
“It is much better if someone instead of shouting on the streets takes to politics, forms a party and enters Assembly or Parliament,” Mr. Digvijay told reporters in Bhopal.
“Everyone should realise that bills are passed and laws enacted only in Parliament and not on Ramlila Maidan,” he said without elaborating further.
He, however, said that both Mr. Kejriwal and BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi were “big megalomaniacs with a strong dictatorial streak.”
“I am saying this as I know that both of them like to listen to only to their voices and do not pay heed to anyone else,” Mr. Digvijay said.
“It was because of this streak that Mr. Kejriwal drove away many people including Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar,” he added.
Asked if Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi would be named as the party’s prime ministerial nominee on January 17, he said, “Personally, I am strongly opposed to naming Prime Ministers or Chief Ministers before the polls.”
About Ms. Priyanka attending a Congress meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, Mr. Digvijay said that she was looking after the party’s media work for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
She also takes a keen interest in party affairs in Raebareli and Amethi, he said.
On Congress’ defeat in November 25 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, he conceded that the macro-management of the BJP was much better than that of his party in the state.
Hitting out at the ruling BJP, he said, “may be people of Madhya Pradesh wanted a government which was involved in scams and which said one thing and did the other.”
What the government said and did was evident from the way in which it decided to allow country liquor shops in big villages to sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor, Mr. Digvijay said.
This would allow 200-250 country liquor shops to sell Indian Made Foreign Liquor, he said.
The Congress General Secretary said that the decision came after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced that no new liquor shops would be opened in the state.
Mr. Digvijay said when he began his political career long back in 1977 he was in the Congress which was then in the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh.
He said that having a stint in the Opposition is always a good thing for any legislator who is elected for the first time.
The Congress General Secretary reiterated his demand for a CBI probe into the scam in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (PEB).
Mr. Digvijay said that when he was Chief Minister, he had got the rules amended to ensure that only those who passed X or XII from MP could appear in examinations conducted by the PEB.
He said that these rules were amended after the BJP came to power and now students from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were appearing in examinations conducted by the State PEB.
He said that because of this, many students in Madhya Pradesh had suffered a lot.
Mr. Digvijay said he did not understand why the state government was afraid of a CBI scam into the PEB scam.
He said that during his tenure, he had never been shy of recommending a CBI probe into any matter.
The Congress General Secretary said that he had filed contempt suits against Uma Bharti, Sunderlal Patwa and Vikram Verma who had charged him with corruption.
Mr. Digvijay also dared the Chief Minister to file a contempt case against him.
Keywords: AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, Arvind Kejriwal, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Congress prime ministerial candidate, Ramlila Maidan agitation, Priyanka, Shivraj Singh Chouhan