All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Digvijaya Singh was caught in an awkward position when the members of Rajput Samaj demanded the repeal of reservations for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe government employees as far as promotions are concerned.
Recently, the Jabalpur bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court quashed a rule which had been introduced by Digvijaya Singh during his tenure as chief minister in 2002, granting reservations in promotions for SC/ST government employees.
The court’s judgment has affected more than 50,000 government employees, as per the official sources. However, Supreme Court has granted a stay on implementation of the judgment.
Digvijaya Singh, himself a member of Rajput clan, was attending a programme of Madhya Pradesh Rajput Samaj at Jyoti Talkies square in the MP Nagar locality of Bhopal to mark the birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap on Tuesday, when some of the members attending the programme waived placards in support of their demand.
While addressing the participants, Singh got irritated when he saw placards being waved by a section of the gathering. Realising the political implications of the demand raised in his presence, he asked the members to keep the placards away, otherwise, he warned, he would leave the programme.
“I came here for attending a community programme. Please don’t politicise it,” he said.
The former chief minister also spoke on unity in society, urging those present to rise above caste and religion.
”Maharana Pratap was a great warrior and used to respect all the castes and religions. During the wars he fought, he was well supported by warriors of all religions and castes. Hakim Khan fought for Maharana Pratap. Later, tribals also helped him,” Singh said.
At his urging, however, those who were waving the placards set them aside.