Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Friday accused the BJP of “buying MLAs the way people buy normal goods in the market”.
Speaking to reporters in the city, Singh alleged that the BJP had made huge sum of money during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term and the money was being used for “horse-trading” and “toppling non-BJP state governments”.
“In the last five years, BJP has raked in mega bucks by indulging in corruption, especially during demonetisation. It is employing that ill gotten wealth for buying MLAs,” Singh said.
“I strongly condemn the way BJP was going about trying to buy MLAs in Karnataka. They are doing this with the money made during demonetisation. They are buying MLAs as if buying goods in a market,” he said.
He criticised the Mumbai Police for not allowing Karnataka Congress leader D K Shivakumar meet rebel MLAs, who were in Mumbai. “Shivakumar had come to Mumbai to meet MLAs who were not picking up his phone and he was denied that right by the Mumbai Police,” the senior Congress leader said.
Singh was in Pune for his annual visit to the temple towns of Alandi and Pandharpur.
On his name cropping up in the Pune police’s investigation into the Naxalite network, Singh said: “Since I am a Rajya Sabha MP and a former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, my phone number is available publicly… My name is being associated with Naxals. Several discussions have been held on this… If I was a terrorist or a Naxal, then why am I not being arrested.”
Singh also played down Modi government’s target of making India a USD 5 trillion economy in the next five years.
“Prime Minister Modi had shown the dream of employment for two crore people, the return of black money from abroad and deposit of Rs 15 lakh into accounts of the public. But all these turned out to be ‘jumlas’. Now he is showing us another dream, of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024. For this to happen, there has to be sustained double-digit growth. Since industrial and manufacturing sectors have been adversely affected, it is not possible to have a USD 5 trillion economy,” he said.
Speaking about the delay in naming a new Congress president after Rahul Gandhi’s resignation, Singh said, “The entire rank and file of the Congress wanted Rahul to continue as the president. However, he decided that the Congress will have a non-Gandhi president. If he thinks a non-Gandhi should be made the president, the working committee of the party will take a decision as soon as possible.”