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Digvijay not to contest polls for 10 years

A visibly disappointed Digvijay Singh took the responsibility for Congress rout in his state and said he won't accept any party post for next 10 years.

india Updated: Dec 05, 2003 15:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

A visibly disappointed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh on Thursday reiterated his vow not to accept any party post or contest an election for the next 10 years following Congress's rout in the state assembly elections.

Addressing a press conference at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) headquarters in Bhopal this afternoon, he attributed the defeat to people's intense desire for change and admitted that his "model of development" seems to have not gone down well with them. But, it is unfortunate, he maintained.

Singh admitted that he failed to read the minds of the people. His confidence to return to power was based on response to his public rallies in different parts of the state and feedback from party cadres, he said.

Owning complete responsibility for the rout, he, however, defended the policies of his Government on developmental issues.

He said that hs "bottom-up" approach to development was imperative for the entire country and without improving social indices, no development was possible.

Singh said that he had concentrated on creating soft infrastructure comprising education, health, provision of water etc and had expected private investment for creating hard infrastructure ? roads, power etc- but unfortunately it did not happen.

The outgoing Chief Minister said that he would continue working on his 'pet' subjects like decentralization of power, strengthening gram swaraj, and social empowerment. And, fight against communal elements is an integral part of my personal agenda, he said.

When asked how he would respond if the party leadership assigned him some important job, Singh said that he would politely refuse.

He further said that he would work more intensely in his constituency, which has largely been neglected due to his preoccupations.

On road and power front, he said that groundwork to overcome power crisis and better road network has already been done and hoped that the new Government would build up on what his Government has created. If it happens, problems on these fronts would be taken care of in next two years, he said.

He denied that senior party leaders did not cooperate with him in the campaigning and it was left entirely on his shoulders and said everybody helped the party to the extent possible.

Singh said that the party needed a new leader in the State and a meeting of the State legislative party meeting would be convened soon to decide on the issue following consultation with the party president and general secretary in-charge of party affairs for Madhya Pradesh Ambika Soni.

Digvijay Singh will meet the Governor tomorrow to hand over his resignation after he returns from Delhi, where he is scheduled to meet the Congress President Sonia Gandhi this evening.

First Published: Dec 05, 2003 00:00 IST