Angered over denial of tickets to his children, veteran Congress leader Arjun Singh once again sought to rake up the loyalty issue in the party, saying he was “shocked” at the treatment being meted out to him for his decades long loyalty.
That the party has virtually sidelined the Union Human Resources Development Minister became evident when it denied tickets to his son Ajeya Singh from Sidhi and daughter Veena Singh from Satna. Veena later filed her nomination from Satna as Independent.
“Honour and humiliation have ceased to be concepts in the Congress party,” he told NDTV when asked if the party had humiliated him.
Singh, 79, had earlier openly expressed his disappointment over the party decision. “It will not be true if I say I am not unhappy. As a father, I am sad and can’t deny I am disappointed that my children did not get tickets,” he had said. The
Congress veteran even cried at party programmes in Ballia and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh recently.
Asked whether he felt slighted by the Congress, Singh said he did not feel slighted but shocked. “I am shocked by what is in store for loyalty.”
However, the Congress dismissed the charge, saying working for the party is a “reward in itself”.
“The philosophy of the party has its own rewards. I believe working for the party and believing in its philosophy and principles has its own rewards,” said Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan.
This is not the first time that Singh has played the loyalty card in the Congress. “Today the evaluation of loyalty in the Congress is done in a very narrow sense. The Nehru-Gandhi family knows who are the real loyalists and those who are pretending to be so,” he had said at the release of his book Mohin Kahan Vishram last year.
Notwithstanding the strong comments, the septuagenarian leader, known for his shrewd political moves, has also sought to buy peace with the party high command with his decision to campaign against his daughter in Sidhi on Tuesday.
The Congress leadership had earlier expressed disappointment over Singh’s reluctance to campaign against Veena, who said she has no problem with her father campaigning for rival Congress candidate Indrajeet Patel. “I have no problem with my father’s decision to campaign for the Congress candidate,” she told reporters in Sidhi.