I failed to read public anger, admits Digvijay Singh

Conceding victory to his BJP rival Uma Bharati in the polls, the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said he had failed to read the public pulse.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2003 13:50 IST

Conceding victory to his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rival Uma Bharati in the assembly poll, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh on Thursday said he had failed to read the public pulse.

"Frankly, I failed to feel the pulse of the voters. It appears there is a strong wave (against the Congress government) and there could have been some public anger," Singh told reporters in state capital Bhopal amid indications of a BJP landslide in the elections to the state's 230-seat assembly.

"It appears I got the wrong feedback from my people."

Asked whether he had lost to the BJP's saffron-robed chief ministerial candidate Uma Bharati, he conceded: "It appears I lost to Uma Bharati. I did not underestimate her, but in a clash of personalities people go one way or the other."

The two-term chief minister, though visibly crushed at his party's rout, kept up a smiling face while he candidly threw in the towel and vowed to remain "an ordinary party worker" for the next 10 years.

Stating that he would continue as a member of the Congress in the assembly, he said though he would sit in the opposition he would not lead it.

"People have voted for a change and I should not be leader of opposition either. I will continue to work as an ordinary member of the party, fight the communal forces and try to ensure my party's victory in New Delhi," said Singh.

"I stand by what I said -- I will not seek any position in the party for the next 10 years."

But Singh insisted the vote was not against his government.

"We did an exceedingly good job. But it was the emotional factor that worked against us -- people voted for a change."

The Congress had been ruling Madhya Pradesh since 1993.

First Published: Dec 04, 2003 13:50 IST