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Digvijaya Singh ends 10-year exile, enters Rajya Sabha contest

Source: PTI
January 28, 2014 15:58 IST
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Putting an end to his ten-year self-imposed 'exile' from electoral politics, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday filed his nomination papers for the Rajya Sabha elections from Madhya Pradesh.

The senior Congress leader was accompanied by party state unit president Arun Yadav, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Satyadev Katare and some MLAs including his son Jaiwardhan Singh and a large number of party workers as he filed papers before Returning Officer Rajkumar Pandey.

Before reaching the Assembly, Singh and his son went to the Congress office in Bhopal where they met party office bearers and workers. He thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi and party leaders for giving him a nomination to the Rajya Sabha.

Speaking to reporters after filing his papers, Digvijay said he agreed to take a RS nomination as he is an organisation man and always wanted to devote maximum time to it.

"I told the party leadership that if it asked me to contest the Lok Sabha elections, I would not be in a position to devote proper attention to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Goa, the three states under my charge right now," he said.

The former CM of Madhya Pradesh also made it clear that his RS nomination did not mean that he cannot contest the Lok Sabha polls.

"However, a final decision on this would be taken by the party high command," he said.

Digvijaya, 67, said it was the right time to become a member of Rajya Sabha.

Asked if his RS route meant that Congress would now field more young faces during the Lok Sabha elections, he said the party has always been promoting youth leadership.

Digvijaya said that as a member of Rajya Sabha, known as the Council of States, he was prepared to offer all assistance and support to the BJP government in MP in case it wanted his help.

He, however, was quick to add that he would not cease his attacks on the Madhya Pradesh Government for its various scams and failures.

"The people of Madhya Pradesh have asked us to play the role of a watchman and we will discharge this duty efficiently," the Congress General Secretary said.

On BJP criticising him for taking a back-door entry into the Parliament, Digvijay said he had always been at the receiving end of the saffron party.

"The BJP criticised me when I was an MLA, then when I became a minister, when I was the State Congress president, when I was the chief minister and even when I was nothing," he said.

When it was pointed out Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur had also said that he had taken a backdoor entry into Parliament, Singh said if Gaur contests this Lok Sabha poll, then he will also ask his party to allow him to contest.

About legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar sharing a dais with BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the occasion of the completion of 51 years of patriotic song "Ai Mere Watan Ke Logon", Singh said that Lata was such a tall personality that her name cannot be associated with any political party.

Elections are due for three Rajya Sabha seats from MP out of which two will go to the BJP and one to the Congress.

Two BJP nominees Prabhat Jha and Satya Narayan Jatiya filed their papers on Monday.

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