"False News": Digvijaya Singh Plays Down "Differences" With Kamal Nath

Mr Singh in a statement noted several newspapers have claimed that he cancelled his visits to Jhabua and Khategaon due to his displeasure.

'False News': Digvijaya Singh Plays Down 'Differences' With Kamal Nath

There is "no factionalism" in the Congress, he asserted.


Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Sunday denied having differences with state Congress president Kamal Nath and claimed such reports were propaganda of the ruling BJP.

Mr Singh in a statement noted several newspapers have claimed that he cancelled his visits to Jhabua and Khategaon due to his displeasure.

"The factionalism in the BJP is at its peak these days and to cover it up they are sponsoring and spreading false news of rift among Congress leaders, especially between Kamal Nath and me. Every leader of the Congress is united and determined to defeat the BJP," Mr Singh said in a statement.

The Rajya Sabha member further said he cancelled his Jhabua and Khategaon visits as the AICC general secretary wanted to discuss some issues of organisational and electoral importance.

There is "no factionalism" in the Congress, he asserted.

However, state BJP secretary Rajneesh Agrawal said differences between Nath and Singh were out in the open, as evident from a conversation between them which was video recorded.

"It is clearly evident from recent events that Nath and his supporters wanted to keep Singh away from the campaigning and were sidelining him," Mr Agrawal said.

He said Mr Nath had openly asked to "tear" clothes of Singh when protests happened after ticket distribution. Singh then held Nath responsible for ticket distribution saying the electoral forms are signed by Nath, who is the state party chief, Agrawal pointed out.

"What else is needed to show differences between them," the BJP leader said.

The Congress workers openly blackened the face of Singh's picture in posters and also burnt his effigy after being denied tickets, Mr Agrawal said.

What does the BJP have to do with it? This all is happening in the Congress, by its leaders and workers, he added.

Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala on Saturday equated Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh with Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, who played the roles of 'Jai and Veeru' respectively in the iconic film- 'Sholay'.

"The relationship between Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan (in Sholay) is the same as between Singh and Nath. Neither Gabbar Singh' (film's lead villain) could get them into a fight (in movie) nor will BJP's Gabbar Singh be able to get it done here," Mr Surjewala told reporters in reply to a question at a press conference in Bhopal.

He also alleged that a huge conflict is going on within the ruling BJP over ticket distribution.

Reacting to Mr Surjewala's statement, state BJP spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said the remark has established the fact that Nath and Singh are similar to the deceitful characters of Jai and Veeru, who escaped from jail.

Earlier this month, a video of Nath emerged in which he purportedly asked his party men to "tear" clothes of Mr Singh over the denial of a ticket to a leader from Shivpuri. This had fuelled talks of a rift in the party over the selection of candidates.

However, the former chief ministers sought to make light of the episode and put up a united face.

The BJP on Friday alleged that Mr Singh has distanced himself from the campaigning following the dispute over ticket distribution.

As the BJP latched on to the video to target the Congress, Mr Nath had clarified that the relations between Singh and him were not merely political.

Polling for the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh will be held in a single phase on November 17 and votes will be counted on December 3. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)