Digvijaya Tells Gandhis to Free Him of All Posts
Congress gen secretary cites his Narmada Parikrama as reason
New Delhi: AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh has formally requested Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi “to relieve him of al l party responsibilities”, according to party insiders. His request to the Gandhis, it is learnt, was made around the time when he firmed up his mind to embark on a six-month, 3,300 km ‘spiritual padayatra’ from September 30 as part of the Narmada Parikrama, an annual pilgrimage in Madhya Pradesh and parts of Gujarat. Party insiders added he cited his “imminent preoccupation” with his “padayatra” as the reason to the Gandhis for wanting to be divested of his responsibilities.
When ET contacted Singh for confirmation, he merely acknowledged having made such a request to the Gandhis but refused to comment further.
If the Congress president had relieved Singh of his responsibilities asAICCin-chargeofKarnatakaand Goa by April end, he was also freed of his Telangana charge a couple of daysago.SourcessaidSinghwanted to be similarly divested of his charge of Andhra too. A two-term CM of Madhya Pradesh, Singh is also a member of the Congress Working Committee besides being part of many important national panels.
ET had in its July 18 edition reported that Singh had disclosed to it about his Narmada Parikrama plan, “as advised by my Guru”, while stressing it would be a strictly a “nonpolitical” and “completely religiousandspiritual” endeavour which he had wanted to undertakesince1997butcould not ashe was pre-occupied with political engagements. However, his announcement had triggered speculations in Congress circles, with many wondering whether his pilgrimage would actually end up being a major “mass contact programme”, more so since the route he finalised covers 110 assembly segments of MP and 20 segments in Gujarat. While MP is scheduled to go to elections in December 2018, Gujarat assembly polls will be held this December.
Singh’spadayatraschedulewillcoincide with the ongoing Congress organisational polls, culminating with the planned take-over of Rahul Gandhi as party president in October with his chosen AICC leadership team.
Digvijaya acknowledges having made such a request to the Gandhis but refuses to comment further