Days after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called him a “traitor” and termed his actions as “anti-national”, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh showed up at Bhopal’s TT Nagar police station to get himself arrested. However, he was sent back by cops who told him there was no case against him.
Mr Chouhan had slammed the former chief minister for visiting the “homes of slain terrorists” and making statements about “Hindu terrorism”.
Mr Singh had visited the family of arrested Batla House encounter accused Mohammad Saif in 2010. He had even called it a “fake encounter” and had asked the centre to initiate a judicial probe.
Last month, the former chief minister had alleged that “all Hindu terrorists who have ever been caught have association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mentor of the BJP, in some way or the other”.
“Talking about Hindu terrorism is an insult to the country and its culture. He is the kind of person who visits the homes of terrorists killed by police and glorifies them. Many times, such acts of Digvijay ji seem anti-national,” Mr Chouhan had said during his Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Satna last week.
While referring to a 2011 event when Mr Singh had addressed slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden as “Osama ji”, Mr Chouhan asked if adding the honorific “ji” for a terrorist was not an anti-national act.
Mr Singh had clarified that he was being sarcastic and accused the BJP of twisting his comment to make it appear as his support for the dreaded terrorist.
After Mr Chouhan’s recent attack, Mr Singh warned of legal action and even dared the chief minister to produce evidence of “my being anti-national to your administration, so that they can file a case and arrest me”.
“I have taken the oath to follow constitution. So I have decided to present myself before the law to protect the unity and integrity of India… I would present myself at TT Nagar Police Station (in Bhopal) on July 26,” Mr Singh’s letter to Shivraj Singh Chouhan said.
If the chief minister does not have any evidence against him, then he should apologise, Mr Singh demanded.
But Mr Chouhan, it appears, is no mood to apologise. He, in fact, said that the senior Congress leader is free to do so. He advised that a senior leader like him should understand the difference between a patriot and a terrorist.
As promised, Mr Singh, accompanied by hundreds of party workers holding banners and placards against Mr Chouhan, marched for around three km from the party’s state headquarters in Shivaji Nagar to TT Nagar police station today. The police stopped the crowd a few metres from the station and allowed 11 leaders, including his son and Raghogarh lawmaker Jaivardhan Singh, to accompany him.
“I have been told in writing that no case is registered against me. It means the Chief Minister has told a lie while occupying a constitutional post. I will approach a court of law and initiate legal action against Chouhan,” Digvijay Singh said.
After the curtain came down on what the BJP termed as a “big drama”, Brijesh Lunawat, state BJP Vice president, said, “He is just trying to show his strength to the party high command. The way he was thrown out of the CWC, he is deeply pained. There is no unity in Congress. Kamal Nath just flagged his yatra, he know that he has no other option left but to fight all alone.”
Mr Singh, considered a close confidante of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, was dropped in the reconstituted Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Sunday.
He was a key member of the previous CWC and also the party’s former general secretary, who once held the charge of many key states such as Karnataka, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.