Besides Congress almost entire Left, Progressive and liberal forces have rallied round Digvijaya Singh backing his fight against Pragya Thakur. Pragya Thakur has been sponsored by the BJP against Digvijaya Singh, Congress candidate for the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat.
These forces have resolved to back Digvijaya Singh because they feel that if Pragya Singh wins she will convert Bhopal into a citadel of communal virus. Bhopal suffered the agony of communal violence in 1992 following the demolition of Babri Mosque. The city lost 140 persons and several hundreds were injured. Property worth crores was also destroyed. The people want Bhopal to continue as the island of peace and harmony which it was prior to 1992.
Secular forces’ unity against communalism was displayed during the visit of Digvijaya Singh to Shakir Sadan, which houses the office of state CPI. Singh was accompanied by several Congressmen. After alighting from his car Singh welcomed the CPI workers with “Lal Salam”. CPI workers also welcomed Singh by saying “Digvijaya Singh lal salam”.
After that several CPI leaders including State Secretary Arvind Shrivistava, Bhopal Party Secretary Shailendra Shaily, Rajendra Sharma and Kumar Ambuj assured all out unconditional support to Digvjaya Singh. Shrivastava said “the moment we learnt that Digvijaya Singh is contesting from Bhopal we decided not to set up party candidate from Bhopal”.
Addressing the gathering Digvijaya Singh said “left’s commitment against communal forces was total. When I say left I mean CPI, CPM and CPML. My support to Kanhaiya was unconditional. He is icon for the youth. I firmly believe that he never raised ‘tukde-tukde’ slogan. It was a trap by the ABVP and RSS. In fact he can never be un-patriotic and anti-national. Kanhaiya will campaign for me in Bhopal on May 8 and 9 Besides D. Raja of CPI is also coming to Bhopal on May 1. He will address a May Day rally along with me. Similarly CPM general Secretary Sitaram Yechury is also coming on May 2”.
Left and liberal support to Digvijay Singh has irked the BJP. It took serious exception to the Digvijaya’s admiration for Kanhaiya Kumar, calling himself an admirer of Kanhaiya Kumar and also inviting him to campaign in Bhopal.
BJP said, Congress has chosen to side with the “tukde-tukde” gang. People will teach Congress a lesson after the campaign by Kanhaiya and Congress leader Navjot Singh Siddhu. BJP candidate Pragya Singh said, “Congress has been exposed after its decision to seek Kanhaiya’s support. The Rashtra dharma (nationalism) will not suffer any loss due to JNU leader’s campaign”.
Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also attacked Digvijaya. He said “Those who are facing sedition charges for making anti-national statements are going to campaign for Congress.” He said that not only Digvijaya even Congress president Rahul Gnadhi is lying to the public. “Congress is creating a record of lies. Their national president seems to have lost the power of thinking in a cogent manner. Congress leaders are making irresponsible claims like abolition of reservation and ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’. People hardly take them seriously” said Chuhan.
After BJP’s criticism, Digvijaya reiterated his admiration for Kanhaiya He said “They (BJP and RSS) defamed Kanhaiya in the 2016 JNU controversy. I am an admirer and a supporter of Kanhaiya. He has become a youth icon. It was the work of the BJP and the RSS to defame Kumar and others who are fighting against fundamentalism”.
Though Pragya is busy visiting people and addressing public meetings she is not getting enthusiastic support from the local party leadership. Several local newspapers are highlighting this fact. Even her main election office always bears a deserted look.
Meanwhile Digvijaya Singh has alleged that deliberate and planned power disruption is being caused. During his programmes. Speaking during his public meeting he blamed BJP accusing it of sabotage and holding it responsible for the power cuts. “I will file a complaint against all of them”. “It is BJP’s appointed outsourced company which is deliberately creating the outage maligning the image to state government. I will not let this happen. Responsible officers will have to answer.”
He added that BJP is indulging in sabotage. “They start sending text messages after their ‘supporters’ disrupt power. It is nothing but an attempt to damage the image of the party”.