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Diggy champions quota cause

AFTER PROGENITOR V P Singh and propagator Arjun Singh, reservation for OBCs today found another Thakur proponent in AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh. The former Chief Minister unequivocally asserted the need for reservation at a meeting with party workers here and made it clear that there should be no confusion on the issue.

india Updated: May 31, 2006 15:25 IST

AFTER PROGENITOR V P Singh and propagator Arjun Singh, reservation for OBCs today found another Thakur proponent in AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh. The former Chief Minister unequivocally asserted the need for reservation at a meeting with party workers here and made it clear that there should be no confusion on the issue.

“The Congress has been and remains committed to reservation as a means to achieve social parity. Anyone opposed to it should join another party,” declared Singh while addressing workers at the City Congress office at Gandhi Bhavan. He, however, pointed out that there was little chance of disgruntled cadres finding refuge elsewhere “as not a single party has gone on record to oppose reservation”.

Singh claimed that there was nothing novel about reserving 27 per cent seats for OBCs. “The original announcement by the P V Narasimha Rao Government failed to cover certain important categories. Arjunji has merely rectified this error”.

Singh, who stayed overnight at Indore en route to Ratlam, seemed upbeat after delivering the Assam polls, for which he was designated in-charge, to the Congress. Describing the State Government as corrupt, faction ridden and inept, Digvijay declared that people were fed up with the BJP regime. He urged party cadres to adopt a proactive approach to exploit the public discontent.

“Protests and agitations against lack of amenities like electricity and water can be initiated at the ward-level instead of waiting for a call from the party headquarters,” he advised. The same approach can be adopted to protest governmental dithering over inquiries into the petrol and social security pension scams.

If this were done successfully, the party would return to power in the State in the next polls. Singh, however, cautioned Congressmen against overestimating the Uma effect. “If you are thinking that her party will help split BJP votes forget it,” he bluntly told party workers.

“The BJP vote bank comes courtesy of the RSS. As long as the Sangh continues to remain behind the party the vote share will remain undiminished,” he pointed out. The former Chief Minister also lambasted the BJP for failing to deliver on the bijli-sadak-paani front while addressing newsmen at a post-meeting tête-à-tête.

The AICC general secretary confidently predicted that Shivraj Singh Chouhan wouldn’t last a year in office. “He (the CM) himself doesn’t know how many MLAs support him,” he mocked.

Three Chief Ministers in two-and-a-half years has made a mockery of the BJP claims of a stable government, declared the Congress leader.  “BJP rule has been marked by unprecedented corruption reflected in the petrol and social security scams”. Digvijay also castigated the Modi Government’s stand on actor Aamir Khan’s support to SSP oustees and termed it another example of the BJP’s “communal, fascist approach”.

“If he vented his feelings on the issue what is wrong with that?”, he demanded. He attributed the breakdown in communication for the Gujarat and MP regime’s present imbroglio with NBA. “Whatever be our differences, my government never refused to talk to Medhaji”.