BHOPAL: Senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh engaged in a banter over ‘kapda faad’ – whose ‘clothes should be torn’ over party workers’ resentment at tickets – during the manifesto release ceremony on Tuesday.
Digvijaya and Nath traded jokes at the event, with the Rajya Sabha MP saying that Nath’s clothes should be torn, and Nath saying that Diggy will have to “take the scoldings on his behalf whether he is at fault or not”. BJP, however, says the exchange exposes rifts within Congress over ticket distribution.
There is resentment among sections of Congress workers over the choice of candidates in some seats. At the manifesto function on Tuesday afternoon, party workers from Datia stood outside the venue, shouting slogans even as the leaders were giving speeches.
Addressing the gathering inside the auditorium, Nath said, “Before this function, I was asked if Digvijaya Singh’s clothes will be ripped apart today. I said, if he doesn’t listen to you, then tear his clothes.” Congress leaders laughed.
Digvijaya immediately interrupted, took a mike and said, “Whose signature appears on Form A and Form B of nomination papers? The PCC president signs. So whose clothes should be torn?”
Nath laughed and spoke to the audience: “The relationship that I have with Digvijaya Singh is not political. It is one of fun, jokes and love. And long ago, I gave him a power of attorney – to take all the abuses for Kamal Nath. That power of attorney is valid even today.” The whole hall broke into laughter.
But Digvijaya was not ready to end the tussle of words. He again said, “Think about this. Who made the mistake (in ticket distribution) should also be known to all.”
Nath retorted, “Dekhiye, galti ho ya naa ho, gaali khaani hai (Whether a mistake has been committed or not, you have to take the abuses). My relationship with him (Digvijaya) is very old. We have family ties.”
Digvijaya replied, “The work of Lord Shankar (Shiva) is to drink poison. So, I will too.”
Nath laughed again and admitted, “Digvijaya has consumed a lot of bitter doses for me. He will have to take some more in the future.”
The state BJP, however, see this as strife is the Congress leadership, not a friendly tussle. State BJP president VD Sharma said, “Kamal Nath telling workers to tear Digvijaya Singh’s clothes shows the internal friction in the party. It’s an open fight between two leaders wanting to project their sons in politics. They were trying to put up a show of unity but their differences have come out in the open. Who gives power of attorney for getting abused? They are shoving the blame of ticket distribution on one another.”

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