Cong dismisses reports of Digvijay stripped of duties
It was a comedy of errors on Tuesday that saw Congress's vocal leader Digvijay Singh being 'stripped of' the key charge of Uttar Pradesh and Assam and only retained as party general secretary.
AICC media managers had a tough time dismissing as "baseless" reports which started appearing on TV channels speaking of a virtual sack of Singh from the AICC secretariat after his losing charge of the two crucial states.
The speculation began with another Congress General Secretary B K Hariprasad accompanying the MPs from Uttar Pradesh and Assam in the morning to meet party chief Sonia Gandhi for consultations ahead of the Presidential polls.
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Image: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh
'Speculation is unfounded, baseless'
With Digvijay Singh busy in some other work, the schedule for the meetings prepared by the Congress Parliamentary Party showed Hari Prasad as in charge of UP and Assam. It was limited for the purpose of taking the MPs to the Congress chief.
At the AICC briefing, party spokesman Manish Tewari said "it is the responsibility of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to decide on what responsibility is to be given to whom" when asked by reporters whether Singh has been divested of the charge of UP and Assam.
"Sometime, an office bearer is given a particular responsibility and sometime part of his responsibility is given to somebody else also," he said.
Tewari at the same time added "the speculation is unfounded, baseless and should not be given any credence" when asked whether Singh has been stripped of his UP and Assam charge because of his certain controversial remarks.
Another leader, who spoke privately, said the temporary measure has been taken as Digvijay's wife is not well.
This prompted reporters to rush to Hariprasad who denied having taken charge of Uttar Pradesh and Assam and insisted no such change has taken place.
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Image: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi at an AICC meeting in New Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
Digvijay Singh refuses to comment on speculation
By the time, AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi also reached the party headquarters to set at rest all speculation caused by the faux pas of some TV news channels.
Digvijay Singh, however, refused to comment on what was the factual position about the speculation of his being divested of the charge of UP and Assam.
"I think the Congress party has come out with a clarification on the issue. I need not say anything more," he said.
However, when asked that there is view that he has himself requested the party to put in temporary charge somebody else in his place for the affairs in the two states as he has family engagements, Singh said "that was when I left. That on July 2 night."
"Pranab Mukherjee had to visit Lucknow on July 3 and Guwahati on July 6 so I had requested the party to sort of designate another general secretary to accompany Mukherjee to Lucknow and Guwahati. And that's it," Singh said.