Former union minister and former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh in an exclusive interview with Aaj Tak’s flagship show Seedhi Baat said that Hindutva had nothing to do with Hinduism and future elections will be a battle of ideologies.
The Congress veteran, who is noted for his controversial statements, spoke about a variety of issues. Singh, who is the chairman of the election coordination committee in Madhya Pradesh, seemed confident of Congress’s comeback in Assembly election and 2019 Lok Sabha election.
In his inimitable style, Singh gave straightforward answers to the host Sweta Singh. The Congress stalwart, who is often hailed as political guru to Rahul Gandhi, refuted such reports. “I am not the political mentor to Rahul Gandhi. He does not need one,” said Singh.
On being asked how he managed his self-imposed political hiatus, Singh said, “I had spoken of a 10-year hiatus, I had not contested any elections till 2014, I had not taken up any government responsibilities. I did work for the party. I am ready to contest elections now but not from Madhya Pradesh. I will not contest elections for Madhya Pradesh assembly. I am ready to contest from anywhere else.”
ON HINDUTVA TERROR
Upon being asked why he coined terms like Hindutva terror, Hindu terror or Sanghi terror, Singh said that Hindutva was coined by Savarkar and it had nothing to do with religion.
“Hindutva – the term was coined by Savarkar, it has got nothing to do with religion. I am a devout Hindu, follower of the sanatan dharma. My religion is not for campaigns. It is not for seeking votes. I do not view religion from the viewpoint of politics. Religion, for me is a personal thing. I am a Hindu myself, how can I coin a term like Hindu terror? No religion can support terrorism. I was the first chief minister who spoke of a ban on organisations like SIMI and Bajrang Dal.”
In response to a question about terms like Sanghi terrorism ending up favouring the BJP, Singh said that Sangh does not represent Hindus and 95 per cent of the population is Hindus. “How many of them are in the RSS? Actually there is no registered organisation by that name of RSS. Why do you worry about a body that has no registered members,” asked Singh.
Then why use the term ‘Sanghi terror’ – on being asked this question, the chairman of the election coordination committee in Madhya Pradesh said, “An RSS pracharak was convicted in the Ajmer case. The accused Sunil Joshi was a RSS pracharak. He was killed by RSS people. All the arrested persons have similar allegiance. BJP term them as fringe elements, but they are foot soldiers of BJP and RSS.”
“If the Sangh invites me I am ready to go and show them the mirror from their platform. I oppose Hindutva because it is being used to portray the sanatan dharma in a wrong way,” he added.
On being asked about Rahul Gandhi visiting temples these days, Digvijaya said, “It is not just Rahul, Sonia, Indira, Nehru, Motilal all have been visiting temples, and they respected all religions. Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Ram Dhun’ spelt the doom for RSS. The fault of Congress is that we could not take these views forward.”
When asked about Congress’s reservations with terms like ‘soft’ Hindutva despite Rahul claiming that he is a Hindu with a sacred thread, Singh said that everyone had a right to follow their religion. He even asked why BJP was having reservations about Rahul’s claims about his religion.
On being asked if Congress should announce a chief ministerial candidate in Madhya Pradesh, Singh said, “Ours is a parliamentary democracy, not a presidential system, announcing of a chief ministerial candidate is not imperative.”
On being asked if Kamal Nath was proving to be a good state party chief, Digvijaya Singh said, “Definitely.”
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On Jyotiraditya’s candidature, Digvijaya said, “No, I support everyone; I am a committed Congress worker. My loyalties are with the Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi family. I shall do whatever they ask.”
Replying to the question if he felt that Modi’s brand of politics is on the wane, Digvijaya said, “Definitely, please have a chat with Murli Manohar Joshi, Modi ji does not even look at Advani ji’s direction, Arun Shourie, Togadia, these are people who made him.”
While talking about the grand alliance, Singh said that it was not just about parties but also about ideologies. “One ideology is of Gandhi-Nehru, another is of Golwalkar and Godse, one must choose between these. It is not a fight of personalities, it is one of ideologies,” he said.
When asked if Congress’s victory depends on the coalition, Singh said asked if there was any coalition in 2004. “What coalition was there in 2004, we were successful then, we shall be successful now,” said Singh.
In one of his jibes, Digvijaya targeted PM Modi asking if he was a bigger leader than Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Source- India Today