Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday asked the police to arrest him after Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called him a “traitor”, the action which the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party dismissed as a political stunt.
Singh, Madhya Pradesh Congress coordination committee’s chairperson, went to the TT Nagar police station in state capital Bhopal as hundreds of his party workers, including his son Jaivardhan Singh, brother Laxman Singh and several other leaders, accompanied him.
The police refused to arrest the former chief minister, saying there was no case registered against him.
“We have not arrested Digvijaya Singh as we don’t have a complaint,” superintendent of police (south) Rahul Lodha said.
The chief minister had said recently at a press conference in Satna that Singh’s actions appear to be that of a traitor. Chouhan alleged that Singh visits the house of a terrorist after his death in a police encounter referring to his meeting with the families of those killed in the Batla House encounter in Delhi.
Chouhan also said that the Congress leader addresses terrorists with honorifics like ‘ji’ after Singh called former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden as ‘Osama ji’.
Singh retaliated by writing a letter to Chouhan, saying he was going to present himself before the police on July 26 asking them to arrest him, otherwise the chief minister should apologise publicly for levelling the “grave charge” against him.
“Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s police has given in writing that there is no case of a complaint against me. Now, I demand that the chief minister issues a public apology for calling me a traitor, if not I will move court,” Singh said while talking to the media as waved a letter from TT Nagar town inspector.
The 71-year-old leader also alleged that the chief minister and his family were involved in the Vyapam scam, illegal sand mining, e-tendering scam and mid-day meal scam.
“I am levelling these allegations if Chouhan wants he can life defamation case against me,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.
BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said it was a show of strength by Singh and an attempt to ensure that he stays relevant in Congress politics.
“So far as the CM’s allegations are concerned, they are not new and have been in the public domain for years,” Agrawal added.
The senior leader was not included in the Congress working committee (CWC) earlier in July, setting the tongues wagging about the decision’s impact on the party in Madhya Pradesh ahead of the assembly election scheduled to be held this year.
Last year, the Congress removed Singh as its in-charge of Karnataka as well as Goa, where the party failed to form a government despite emerging as the largest party by votes.