Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s acceptance of his “relationship” with a 43-year-old Rajya Sabha TV anchor and their plans to marry created a political storm on Wednesday with the opposition BJP and Aam Admi Party (AAP) targeting the 67-year-old former Madhya Pradesh chief minister on “morality”.
Singh confirmed the relationship on Twitter a day after his pictures with Amrita Rai went viral on social media.
The senior Congress leader has made barbs over Narendra Modi’s marital status recently. He has also been a constant tormentor for the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, demanding answers from them about their words or actions, and constantly seeking to embroil them in controversies.
On Wednesday, in an apparent reference to Modi’s marital status, Singh told The Indian Express: “I have said what I wanted to. I don’t hide facts like Modi.” In the evening, Singh posted two other tweets criticising Modi.
Earlier in the afternoon, Singh had tweeted, “I have no hesitation in accepting my relationship with Amrita Rai. She and her husband have already filed a mutual consent divorce case. Once that is decided we would formalise it. But I do condemn encroachment in our private life.”
I have no hesitation in accepting my relationship with Amrita Rai. She and her husband have already filed a mutual consent divorce case.
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) April 30, 2014
While the picture was shared on Facebook and Twitter, Internet users shared the same on YouTube as well.
Rai too posted on Twitter: “I have separated from my husband and we have filed a mutual consent divorce papers. After which I have decided to marry with Digvijaya Singh.”
She also tweeted, “My email/computer been hacked & contents tampered with. It is a serious crime in India & encroachment of my privacy. I strongly condemn it.”
I have separated from my husband and we have filed a mutual consent divorce papers. After which I have decided to marry with Digvijaya Singh
— amrita rai (@amrritarai) April 30, 2014
Within hours of the two sets of tweets, an anonymous envelope containing their photographs and copies of emails purportedly exchanged between them reached newspaper offices.
Singh’s wife passed away in February last year after prolonged illness.
The Congress feigned ignorance about the development. Singh’s fellow AICC general secretary Shakeel Ahmed claimed he was not aware of the matter.
BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said, “A new definition of morality has been given by the actions of senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Saheb. Those who preach lessons of morality should first look within themselves to see if they are practising what they are preaching to others. As far as the legal aspect of the matter of adultery is concerned, it is up to the husband of the lady to pursue thhe matter.”
AAP leader and former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti posted a series of tweets attacking Singh.
Although taken aback by the disclosure, Congress sources maintained that it would not have any impact on him or the party politically. “He is in the Rajya Sabha and elections are over in Madhya Pradesh. Politically, this issue has no implications for the party,” said a party general secretary.