Taking on former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath and his senior Congress counterpart Digvijaya Singh for the first time since he left the party to join the BJP, Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said the two were hurt because the Congress lost power in the state.
Describing the previous Kamal Nath government as “brashton ki sarkar (government of the corrupt)”, Scindia said the voters will respond to this in the by-elections for 24 seats and claimed that the saffron party will win all of them.
Out of 24 seats bound for Assembly by-elections, 22 are constituencies of former Congress legislators who quit the party to join the BJP along with Scindia.
Scindia, who had avoided naming Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh until Thursday, alleged that the 15-month-old Nath government used every corrupt trick in the book to retain power.
Referring to the Congress’s social media campaign against him over the last couple of months, he said, “They have tried to sully my image…. Tiger abhi zinda hai (the tiger is still alive).”
The Congress hit back on Twitter, stating that “traitors have no religion. Defeat of the irreligious and sinners is the basic religion of democracy.’’ In another tweet, the opposition party called him a fake tiger.
Incidentally, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had used the same line in his last speech before vacating the CM house in December 2018 after losing the Assembly polls. “Main hoon na; tiger abhi zinda hai (I am there; the tiger is alive),’’ he had said in an effort to reassure BJP workers from his constituency – Budhni – who had called on him at the CM house.
When someone had remarked that it may take five years for him to return as CM, Chouhan had said that “it could happen before that”.
Chouhan’s comment had drawn sharp reactions from Congress leaders, who alleged that the BJP was thinking of toppling the Kamal Nath government.
Scindia, who flew to Bhopal on Wednesday, later said at the BJP headquarters: “You know Congress leaders from outside but I have known them from inside. The Congress government was such that someone was made to occupy the chair but the remote was with someone else. Corruption was rampant. Our 22 legislators made a sacrifice to stop corruption.”
Speaking on the occasion, Chouhan accused Kamal Nath of looting the state for 15 months. The Secretariat, he alleged, had become a den of brokers, and that Nath, as CM, had time to meet contractors but not legislators.
Earlier in the day, Scindia said that the “Congress is restless (without power),”, and that the grand old party has strayed from the people. When told that the Congress observed the 100th day of the Chouhan government as a “Black Day’”, Scindia said the opposition party should observe the day the Emergency was imposed as a Black Day. “Anyay ke khilaf chheda gaya sangharsh hi dharm hai (the fight against injustice is religion),” Scindia had tweeted before Thursday’s state Cabinet expansion.
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