Voters of eight constituencies of Madhya Pradesh will choose their representatives to Lok Sabha on May 12. This will be the third phase of polling in Madhya Pradesh. The eight constituencies are Bhopal, Bhind, Guna, Gwalior, Morena, Rajgarh, Sagar and Vidisha.
Among them are three seats which can be termed as VIP constituencies. The topmost among three is Bhopal which has drawn nationwide attention because former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh is contesting from here.
He is being opposed by BJP’s candidate Pragya Thakur who is still facing charges of being involved in Malegaon terrorist attack. Pragya has been sponsored by the BJP to test their political philosophy of Hindutva.
The other important constituency is Guna from where Jyotiraditya Scindia is contesting. This is Scindia’s stronghold from where he has never tasted defeat. Despite the fact that this time he could not pay much attention to his constituency because he was busy in Uttar Pradesh where he was made in charge along with Priyanka Gandhi. In his absence his wife took the command. Despite this he is sure of his victory.
The third important seat is Morena from where Union Minister Narendra Tomar is contesting. Tomar used to contest from Gwalior but he was shifted to Morena this time. Tomar accepted the change with great reluctance.
Despite all possible attempts by the BJP and specially by the RSS, former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh successfully sabotaged the attempt to polarise Bhopal. It was a last-minute decision by the BJP to choose Pragya as it thought that through her propaganda, they may be able to polarise Bhopal which has substantial Muslim population.
The BJP has been portraying Digvijaya as anti-Hindu and pro-Muslim. In fact, BJP initiated its propaganda that Digvijaya’s election will be a setback to Hindus living in Bhopal.
But by adopting an unique strategy Digvijaya successfully projected his image as a devout Hindu. From the first day he started visiting temples of Bhopal. In fact, Digvijaya was always a Hindu devotee. Last year he spent six months on Narmada parikrama without a single day break.
He began his campaign by seeking blessings of Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand. Meanwhile hundreds of Sadhus and Saints reached Bhopal. Under scorching Sun, they performed Hat Yog and gave their blessings for the electoral victory of Digvijaya Singh.
They also marched on the streets of Bhopal appealing voters to vote for Digvijaya Singh. The march lasted for several hours. Perhaps this was an unprecedented gathering of Sadhus on the streets of Bhopal in support of Congress.
Computer Baba, who switched back to Congress after a brief stint with the erstwhile Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, was the man behind the show of strength.
Clad in white kurta-pajama and a white turban wrapped around his head, Digvijaya Singh was seen walking by the side of Namdev Tyagi alias Computer Baba. As the former chief minister received garlands from his well-wishers, he in turn garlanded Computer Baba.
The saffron clad Sadhus minced no words and appealed to the curious passers-by to vote for Digvijaya. “Give the former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh a chance to serve the people of Bhopal”, they urged.
Later when Digvijaya Singh was about to leave the road show, a few youths standing on the roadside crossing near a Jain Temple chanted “Modi…Modi”. Even as they kept chanting “Modi..Modi” the road show passed on.
Police later booked four youths and another half-a-dozen youth under section 147 of the IPC and 188 of CrPC. The Modi…Modi chanters, landed at the police station to be booked for rioting and violation of Model Code of Conduct.
The sadhus urged the “Dharma premi, Sadbhavana premi” (those who stand for religion and harmony) people to vote for Digvijaya Singh and ensure the “triumph of truth”. Amid the chants of “Narmada Maiya Ki Jai” the organisers of the road show said: “vote for Digvijaya would be in the interest of Narmada Maiya…vote for Digvijaya would be in the interest of Gau Mata…”.
As the road show proceeded through the narrow lanes and alleys of old City the sadhus appealed to the people to vote for Digvijaya in the interest of Bhopal’s tradition of communal harmony.
Slogans invoking Jain seer “Vidya Sagarji Magaraj” were also heard during the roadshow. Chants of “Jai Sri Ram” also rent the air during the road show. A Sadhu was carrying a placard that said “Santo ki hain yahi pukar, badal kar rakh do chowkidar”.
It was only at the later stage during the road show that chants of “Narmada Maiya”, “Ganga Maiya”, Gaur Mata”, “sant Samaj” gave way to “Congress Party Zindabad” and “Rahul Gandhi Zindabad”.
Digvijaya and his team adopted several other methods to appeal to the voters. One of them was “padyatra” by Digvijaya Singh. During the “padyatra” people not only welcomed Singh but also showered flowers on him. He did “padyatra” continuously for five days.
BJP leaders have been alleging that Congress Government’s claim of waiving Kisans’ loan is false. In order to rebut charges, the Congress loaded a jeep with the documentary proof of loan waiver.
Several hundred bags of the written proof of loan waiver were taken to the residence of former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Chouhan was taken aback by the Congress move but he still continues to claim that loans have not been waived so far.
Besides Congressmen several eminent personalities from various walks of life also lent support to Digvijaya Singh. Such persons came from different parts of the state and also from other states. They included Swami Agnivesh, famous lyricist Javed Akhtar, Prof. Ram Puniyani, and famous anti-communal crusader Suresh Khairnar.
Many ordinary persons reached Bhopal on their own. Swami Agnivesh addressed a stormy press conference and also a crowded public meeting. Swami said that Pragya Thakur’s claims that she is a “Sadhvi” is false. She doesn’t possess any quality of being a Sadhvi.
Khairnar brought number of documents to prove that she is a criminal and still faces serious charges. She was granted bail on health ground. Her participation in electioneering proves that she is healthy and fit.
Khairnar reached the Court to get her bail cancelled. He also criticised the BJP for choosing her as a candidate for Lok Sabha polls. She is a terrorist and by sponsoring the BJP proved that its opposition to terrorism is only superficial.