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Bhopal, Apr 28: Congress leader Digvijay Singh has stoked a fresh controversy by asking former JNSU president and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar to campaign for him against Sadhvi Pragya in Bhopal. Kanhaiya is CPI candidate from Begusarai who is pitted against firebrand BJP leader Giriraj Singh.

Addressing a gathering at the CPI office here, Singh called himself an “admirer” of the former JNUSU president, and said that he was happy that Kumar would campaign for him on May 8-9.

Singh also sought to dispel perception that Kumar’s arrival might rake up “Tukde-Tukde” controversy in the poll season, as Thakur is viewed as a polarising figure.

He blamed the BJP and the RSS for “defaming” Kumar in the 2016 Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) sloganeering controversy.

“I challenge if anybody comes out saying that they (Kanhaiya and his associates) had raised the ‘Tukde-Tukde’ slogan (on the JNU campus in 2016). It was the work of the BJP and the RSS to defame Kumar and others who are fighting against fundamentalism,” he alleged.

Digvijay took on  party’s ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for fielding Tanveer Hussain from Begusarai.

“I am an admirer and a supporter of Kanhaiya Kumar. He has become an ideologue. I openly support him. I told my party that the RJD has made a big mistake (by fielding its candidate in Begusarai). This seat (Begusarai) should have been allotted to the CPI,” Singh said.

Singh claimed that “separation” of the Congress and Left parties was responsible for his party’s defeat in 2014 general elections.

“I believe that we (Congress) won again after UPA-I era because the Left was with us, but we got separated on a petty issue. The control over social and economic policies that existed during the UPA-I government (because of Left allies) was missing during the tenure of the UPA-II government, which was the reason for the Congress’ defeat (in 2014),” he said.


Singh also took a dig at his political detractors in Madhya Pradesh Congress.

“After the Congress’ defeat in the 2003 (assembly polls), it was said that my presence in the state would slash the party’s vote share. However, I witnessed that the BJP was winning and the RSS becoming powerful over years whereas the Congress remaining a silent spectator. This is the reason I decided to become active again,” the former chief minister said.

He hailed the “help” extended by CPI leaders in defeating the BJP in the assembly elections held last year.

The contest for Bhopal, a BJP bastion since 1989, has become high profile since the saffron party fielded Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.

Bhopal goes to polls on May 12 in the sixth phase of ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

News24 Bureau/ Agencies

Photo: Google