This Week Madhya Pradesh: Recurring cost of an old victory

Recurring cost of an old victory

In 2003, Uma Bharti took on Digvijaya Singh in a battle for the chief minister's chair and won comprehensively. A decade on, she is ruing where the battle has left her today. While campaigning, she had released a booklet listing what she called Digvijaya's acts of corruption. Today, she is still appearing in court in Madhya Pradesh in the defamation suit Digvijaya filed. "I formed the government but instead of earning laurels I am being penalised,'' she said after her last appearance in court. She requested the court to excuse her from future appearances, saying she is now a legislator from Uttar Pradesh and has to travel. The court will decide on her plea in February.

Brotherly reunion

Digvijaya Singh's younger brother Laxman Singh, who was expelled by the BJP in 2010, is set to return to the Congress. Laxman's son Aditya has been fielded by the Congress in the Raghogarh municipality elections. Laxman defected to the BJP in 2004, won the Lok Sabha election from Rajgarh, and then lost in 2009, mainly because his brother campaigned in favour of the Congress nominee. When BJP chief Nitin Gadkari referred to Digvijaya Singh as "Aurangzeb ki aulad'' in 2010, Laxman Singh asked him to apologise for his "mean" remark but was instead thrown out. Since then Laxman was in a political vacuum. He shared the Congress dais with his elder brother recently.

On the wall

At a function at the BJP headquarters, top leaders including chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan recited "Sunderkand", a chapter from the Ramayana. The occasion was a celebration of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's birthday. Vajpayee was born in Gwalior and the celebrations here are on a much larger scale than at other places. His portraits adorn the walls of government buildings and panchayat bhavans in MP. Chouhan, who also holds the general administration department portfolio, had last year refused to take a fresh look at the list of other leaders whose portraits can be displayed on government walls. A BJP legislator had asked the government if it did not consider Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhas Bose and Chandrashekhar Azad national level leaders who could adorn walls.

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