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Digvijaya mends Scindia fences

Bhopal, Dec. 10: Madhya Pradesh Congress rivals Jyotiraditya Scindia and Digvijaya Singh have buried the hatchet on Sonia Gandhi’s instructions, equating their relationship to that of a father and son.

Assembly polls are due next year and the Congress has been out of power in the state for nine years.

Scindia arrived yesterday in his parliamentary constituency Guna and was surprised to see Digvijaya in a crowd shouting “Maharaj ki jai (hail the king)”.

Together, they inaugurated a Congress office where Scindia described Digvijaya as a “father figure”. Digvijaya said he always viewed Scindia as his “son” and said, “from now on, maharaj will be like my son and you all shall see it”.

For nearly a decade, the two stalwarts disagreed on almost every issue and their supporters even came to blows.

The ground for the patch-up was laid a week ago when Sonia asked them to present a united face of the party. Sonia reportedly told them that Madhya Pradesh should not go the “Gujarat way” if the ruling BJP wins a third term in a row.

But Congress insiders suggested Digvijaya and Scindia have their own compulsions. Digvijaya reportedly wants to field son Jaywardhan in the Assembly polls from family pocket borough of Raghogarh, where Scindia has areas of influence. As quid pro quo, Scindia is reportedly keen to get Digvijaya’s nod for the chief minister’s post if the Congress defeats the ruling BJP.

But a section of the Congress feels the recent rise of another satrap, Kamal Nath, may have prompted the reunion. The parliamentary affairs minister’s stock has gone up following the UPA’s win on the FDI vote last week. This has led the Nath camp to speculate if he would be named the chief ministerial candidate as a reward of mustering the numbers in Parliament.