Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was called out by BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not voting on Sunday in the sixth round of the national election. All day, Digvijaya Singh didn't budge from Bhopal, where he is contesting as the Congress candidate. PM Modi referred to the miss as he addressed a gathering in Madhya Pradesh's Ratlam, referring to the Congress veteran as "Diggy Raja".
"The country is electing its representatives, even I went to Ahmedabad to cast my vote. President and Vice President of the country were standing in queues to cast their votes. But Diggy Raja didn't feel the need to cast his vote," the Prime Minister said. "Are you teaching first time voters that voting is not important to those 21st century youth who are voting and deciding the future of the nation? You have committed a sin, Diggy Raja."
Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he was "shocked" that a person who had been the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for 10 years and who was asking everyone to vote, "didn't himself vote".
Digvijaya Singh, who faces the BJP's Pragya Singh Thakur in Bhopal, stayed put in the Madhya Pradesh capital and was heard telling reporters on Sunday that he would vote later. But the Congress leader finally did not make it to Rajgarh, which is about 140 km from Bhopal.
The BJP said Mr Singh had camped in Bhopal as he was "nervous" about the contest that he had taken on as a dare from fellow Congress man, Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
"I was busy overseeing the voting in Bhopal," Mr Singh said. Asked if he was "nervous", Mr Singh told NDTV, "No, no, not at all". He also said he "regretted" not voting and would get his name registered as a voter in Bhopal.
Bhopal has voted the BJP for nearly three decades and is seen as one of the toughest constituencies for the Congress to win. Mr Singh was challenged by Chief Minister Kamal Nath to pick the "toughest seat" to contest. The 72-year-old made it clear that Rajgarh, and not Bhopal, was his choice. But Kamal Nath nixed it.
Soon after Digvijaya Singh's name was announced, the BJP fielded Pragya Singh Thakur, accused in Malegaon blasts case.
In a highly polarised campaign, Pragya Thakur has made controversial remarks like "cursing" Hemant Karkare, who died fighting terrorists during the 26/11 attacks, and bragging about participating in the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya.