As Sadhvi Pragya’s entry polarises Lok Sabha polls in Bhopal, Digvijaya Singh ropes in Kanhaiya Kumar as his star campaigner

Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, BJP candidate for the high-profile Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, might have hogged the limelight because the announcement of her candidature however her opponent, Digvijaya Singh of Congress, too has aces up his sleeve.

Kanhaiya Kumar, the Communist Party of India (CPI) candidate from Begusarai in Bihar, is descending upon Bhopal on eight and 9 May to marketing campaign for the previous chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.

According to Digvijaya, who has referred to as himself an ‘admirer’ of the previous president of JNU Student Union (JNUSU), Kanhaiya is being roped in to handle the youth of Bhopal.

File picture of Congress chief Digvijaya Singh. PTI

No one would deny the truth that there’s no second chief in Madhya Pradesh who may match Digvijaya when it comes to presence throughout the state or community, however Kanhaiya camapaigning for him has raised a couple of questions.

Is Digvijaya, the seasoned political heavyweight, so low on confidence of his personal candidature that he wants the assistance of a greenhorn like Kanhaiya who’s lower than half his age to canvass for him? Or is the latter the brand new youth icon that the Congress must catapult its fortunes displacing even celebration president Rahul Gandhi?

Considering that Digvijaya was one in all Rahul’s extra vocal mentors when the latter was the celebration common secretary through the UPA II rule on the Centre, would not it have been extra logical to have the Congress president marketing campaign in Bhopal?

“It’s surprising as to why Digvijaya who has been the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh twice, would ask Kanhaiya to campaign when Rahul is supposed to be their star campaigner. Is Digvijaya unsure of Rahul’s appeal and thinks that Kanhaiya, a newbie, has more appeal?” asks Supreme Court lawyer and former president of JNUSU, Sandeep Mahapatra.

Mahapatra, who had represented ABVP, the coed wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party, in 2000-01, additionally says that Kanhaiya’s presence in Bhopal will reaffirm the assumption that the “Congress party approves seditious activities, which would further impact Rahul’s image, who has sought to distance himself from this”.

Meanwhile, Congress has made no announcement on the subject of Rahul’s Bhopal go to. He held public rallies in Tikamgarh, Damoh and Panna on Tuesday, and will likely be at Pipariya in Hoshangabad district on Wednesday.

CPI has prolonged its assist to Digvijaya on the Bhopal seat. While addressing a gathering on the CPI workplace in Bhopal, Digvijaya lately referred to as himself an ‘admirer’ of Kanhaiya and had blamed the BJP and the RSS for ‘defaming the then JNUSU president’ in 2016 over an alleged slogan ‘Bharat tere tukde-tukde honge’.

“Digvijaya who’s known for his banal and ulterior views has invited someone of his ilk whose claim to fame had been to be a part of the ‘tukde tukde gang’. Birds of the same feather flock together. It’s nothing but adding nuisance value to Congress campaign, which the voters of Bhopal won’t accept,” added Mahapatra.

The Bhopal parliamentary constituency has been a BJP bastion since 1989 and it’ll go to polls on 12 May within the sixth part of Lok Sabha Election 2019.

“Why Kanhaiya Kumar? And why Bhopal? He isn’t coming here to address any seat with Bihari population or any pocket of Communists. Even, if he addresses campuses in Bhopal, it’ll hardly resonate with students, as the culture in JNU and in Bhopal is completely different,” remarked Varun Sharma, an alumni of Barkatullah University.

The query  arises is why would Digvijaya a two-term chief minister of Madhya Pradesh take assist from somebody who’s but to show his mettle as a politician, not to mention as a corporator in civic physique.

According to political analysts, Digvijaya might have roped in Kanhaiya, to counter the sharp polarisation that has emerged on account of Sadhvi Pragya’s candidacy in Bhopal.

After Sadhvi Pragya’s entry, it seems that Digvijaya needs to safe himself from all quarters. Digvijaya’s 3,300-kilometres Narmada Yatra by foot between 2017 and 2018 has already made his soft-Hindutva stand stronger.

Political commentator Abhilash Khandekar believes that lots has modified in Madhya Pradesh within the final 15 years. “Times have changed. Situations are different. Each one needs a new icon or crowd puller to win elections. Digvijaya was chief minister 15 years ago and a lot of water has flown down the Narmada and Betwa rivers in Madhya Pradesh.”

Khandear factors out how apart from getting Kanhaiya for campaigning, Digvijaya can also be getting assist from seers. After receiving blessings from ‘Computer Baba’, Digvijaya received assist from one other seer Mahamandleshwar Swami Vairagyanand.

On Monday, the seer forecast that the previous chief minister would win from Bhopal seat and he would carry out a ‘havan’ (ritual) to make sure Digvijaya’s victory. Vairagyanand additional added that if it didn’t occur, he would sacrifice his life (samadhi).


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