Pune | Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday claimed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had made so much money during demonetisation that it was now “buying” MLAs.
The comments came in backdrop of the political crisis in Karnataka after some Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) lawmakers resigned and the 10 party legislators in Goa joining the BJP.
“BJP has earned so much money during notes ban that they are now involved in buying (MLAs). The condition is such that the MLAs are being bought as if goods are being purchased from a market. I strongly condemn it,” said Digvijaya Singh.
He, however, said the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh was safe, asserting that Chief Minister Kamal Nath has the support of 121 MLAs.
Digvijaya Singh criticised the Centre for its economic policies, alleging that the target of becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 was a “dream” being showed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“In 2014, PM Modi showed us dreams such as employment for two crore people, the return of black money from abroad and deposit of Rs. 15 lakh into accounts of the public. But all the promises turned out to be jumlas (rhetoric). Now he has shown a new dream, of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024,” he said.
“To achieve that target, there has to be sustained double-digit growth and unfortunately no such possibility is visible,” he said.
Digvijaya Singh claimed that, on the contrary, industrial and manufacturing sectors were lagging.
“In such conditions, it is not possible to have a USD 5 trillion economy,” he said.
Speaking on the February 14 Pulwama attack, the former MP chief minister said there was an intelligence input about the attack on February 8, 2019, despite which no precautions were taken.
“After the recent bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, the internal intelligence minister (there) resigned. After the 26/11 (Mumbai) attack, the chief minister (of Maharashtra) had resigned. But no responsibility was fixed after the Pulwama attack,” he alleged.
On Rahul Gandhi‘s decision to step down as Congress president, Digvijaya Singh praised the former for taking responsibility for the Lok Sabha poll defeat.
“After 1968, one two occasions, Congress had split, but people of the country and workers of the party showed faith in the Congress-led by the Gandhi-Nehru family,” he said.
“We all wanted him (Rahul) to continue. However, he decided that the Congress will have a non-Gandhi president. If he thinks a non-Gandhi should be made the president, the working committee of the party will take a decision as soon as possible,” he added.
Digvijaya Singh also condemned the Mumbai police’s action of not allowing Karnataka Congress leader and minister D K Shivakumar to meet rebel MLAs of the southern state who were camping at a hotel in the metropolis.
“Shivakumar had come to Mumbai to meet his friends (MLAs) who were not picking up his phone and he was denied that right by Mumbai police,” he said.
On a question related to his number cropping up in one of the letters recovered from activists in the Elgar Parishad case, he said, “My number is on the website…if the police thinks I was involved in terror acts, they should arrest me.”
On BJP starting its campaign for the Maharashtra Assembly polls slated for later in the year, Singh said,” We also have started, I believe so.
Digvijaya Singh, who has been visiting Pandharpur’s Vitthal temple for the past 27 years, was addressing reporters in Pune after he returned from the temple town.