FORMER CHIEF Minister Digvijay Singh thinks that the rise in Muslim extremism has its roots in events that took place in 1992. “If the Babri structure had not been demolished the country would have been spared the spate of bomb attacks and communal riots witnessed since then. The (Mumbai) blasts and other terror incidents were a reaction to the demolition,” Singh declared.
The AICC general secretary attributed the spurt in fundamentalist organisations in both communities to a perceived hardening of stance on the other side.
‘‘When the majority community forms groups like the Bajrang Dal, Muslims will respond with organisations like Lashkar-e-Toiba,” Singh pointed out during an interaction with mediapersons at Residency Kothi late Friday evening. And, as long as hardliners within both communities dictate terms things cannot move forward, he said.
“Instead of working towards peace the BJP Government keeps stoking communal passions in a bid to grab Hindu votes,” Singh charged. He claimed that the electorate was getting disillusioned with the saffron party and this was clear from the results thrown up by the Bada Malehra and Vidisha by-polls.
“The BJP lead dwindled from three lakh to 80,000 in Vidisha and from 36,000 to 3600 in Bada Malehra,’’ said the former CM, adding that a Congress victory in the next Assembly polls was a certainty. Was there a chance that he would return to lead his party against a ‘weakened’ BJP? “Absolutely not,” he declared. “My decision not to return to the State is final and there is no question of a rethink on the issue,” he asserted.
Singh also took the BJP Government to task on the abysmal condition of roads in the State. “For ten years they blamed us for bad roads. When we clarified that it was not our roads but the national highways that were in a bad shape they didn’t believe us. After coming to power, though, they’re singing the same tune.”
Digvijay said the BJP had sidelined genuine contractors and instead awarded projects to the associates of local politicos. “These petty contractors cannot do quality work and this is the reason behind the miserable condition of the City’s roads.”
The AICC general secretary, however, promised to arrange all possible help from the Centre for road repair and construction. “During a discussion with PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya I assured him of Central funding if the government submitted a detailed blueprint,” concluded the Congressman.