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I?ll work to defeat my brother, says Digvijay

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh, campaigning against his brother Laxman Singh in Rajgarh, says that personalities don't matter in a democracy.
PTI | By Ashutosh Shukla
UPDATED ON APR 25, 2004 01:39 PM IST

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh is now campaigning against his brother Laxman Singh in Rajgarh. He spoke to Ashutosh Shukla. Excerpts:

Laxman Singh is contesting on a BJP ticket and you are campaigning against him. Had you ever thought of such a situation?

There is nothing strange in this. We have been fighting against the BJP for years and it is what I am doing even now.

But the BJP candidate is your brother. And for many it is still difficult to visualise the two of you separately.

In a democracy, personalities don't matter. What matters are ideology and conviction.

But Indian polls are largely personality-oriented.

Parliamentary democracy has no place for personalities. Ideology and programmes are critical.

If Digvijay the politician doesn't feel strange opposing his brother, how do you feel as a person looking at Laxman's affidavits where he has stated that he is part of a joint family whose head is Digvijay Singh?

Yes, it is a joint family and I am head of the family. But it won't remain joint after the elections. There will be division of property after this elections because Laxman has chosen to part ways and I can't help it.

What is your strategy to ensure the victory of the Congress candidate?
My strategy is to work hard to ensure the defeat of the BJP in every polling booth and every assembly segment of the constituency.

Can you do it in all earnest against your brother? There are a lot of sceptics.
I will go all out to defeat him, come what may.

Even Uma Bharti said in one of her interviews that you advised Laxman to join the BJP.

If she has said it, she must either be dreaming or stating a lie.

Fingers are also being raised at the Congress' choice of candidate. You have been instrumental in getting Justice Shambhu Singh the party ticket.

Why do good people not get a chance in politics? You people keep writing about criminals and musclemen taking over the political arena. Why should a person who has made a name for himself as a judge because of his honesty and integrity not get a chance?

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