Congress Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh on Sunday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should be taught the Karnataka lesson in Madhya Pradesh where the Assembly polls are due by the year-end.
In the May 10 elections to the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the Congress put up an impressive show by winning 135 seats, while incumbent BJP and the former prime minister H D Deve Gowda-led Janata Dal (Secular) secured 66 and 19, respectively.
“Through you all, I request the people of our country that the time for a change has come. Ponder over it. The firmness with which the BJP has been defeated in Karnataka, it should be taught a lesson in the same way. They (BJP) are nursing a big ego,” Singh said.
The Congress leader said the BJP should be humbled. “We are not power hungry but look at the way injustice is being done to the people and how Congressmen are being bullied with false cases. I was the chief minister of MP for 10 years. No BJP activist can say that during my tenure he faced excesses,” he said.
Singh said those engaged in works under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which provides 100 days of guaranteed wage employment to a rural unskilled labour, were not getting their wages.
“Panchayati Raj has turned into ‘sarkari raj’ …. 99 per cent of sarpanchs (village heads) are unhappy and are demanding their powers be restored,” he said.
The senior Congress leader added, “We assure that the day the Congress government is formed under the leadership of Kamal Nath, we are going to empower the panchayat system as it was in 2003 (when BJP wrested powe from Congress in MP ).”
Singh reiterated that the Congress in MP has one mascot – Kamal Nath. “I was the chief minister for 10 years. Let me do other work,” Singh said when asked whether he might become the party's face in Assembly polls.
The 2018 MP polls had thrown up a hung Assembly, with the Congress emerging as the largest party with 114 seats in the 230-member House. The BJP won 109 seats.
The Congress formed a coalition government under Kamal Nath, but it fell in March 2020 after several MLAs loyal to Jyotiraditya Scindia walked out and joined the BJP, paving the way for Shivraj Singh Chouhan to return as the chief minister.