Kick-starting its campaign for the November assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress on Sunday fielded all its stalwarts from the state at a well-attended rally at Morena, where leaders said the time was ripe for a regime change.
Leading the charge was Jyotiraditya Scindia, the Union power minister, who said the state was not run by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan but by “two S — Sharma and Suryavanshi”.
The former, Sudhir Sharma, is a mining baron while the other, Dilip Suryavanshi, is a controversial builder. Addressing the large turnout, Scindia said, “It is only a handful of people like Sharma and Suryavanshi, who are happy with this regime. If one has to get any contract in the Shivraj regime, he has to get approval of one of them.”
Scindia, who struck an instant chord with the crowd by describing himself as one who couldn’t help but be among them (people of Chambal) in times of crisis, said politics was for him a means to serve the people. “It’s one lesson I have learnt from my father.”
Union urban development minister Kamal Nath accused the BJP government in MP of failing miserably in attracting investment in the state and creating jobs for the youth. “When you vote next time, you would be deciding the fate of MP. The BJP has pushed the state into darkness during its two stints. More industries have got closed in MP than new ones opening during this period. The BJP government has been completely non-serious towards the youth. Now, people should vote for the Congress in the interest of youths and posterity,” he said.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said he was unlucky to have ruled the state during the NDA government’s tenure at the Centre. Funds were not available as much as from the UPA regime for states. “But more the funds, greater the corruption was the story of the BJP regime in MP,” he said.
The Congress leaders criticised the state government for failing on many fronts: law and order, protection of women, electrification and utilisation of central funds.
State Congress chief Kantilal Bhuria, his predecessor Suresh Pachouri, senior Congress leader Satyavrat Chaturvedi and AICC general secretary (in charge of MP) Mohan Prakash also addressed the gathering.