Prem Narayan Nagar
Prem Narayan Nagar

Ujjain: Electioneering for bypolls for 28 assembly segments of Madhya Pradesh has entered into its last phase. As the voting date November 3 is approaching nearer, the election battle has almost turned into a ground of bitter utterances and scathing personal verbal diatribes.

Bypolls are being held on such a large scale for the first time after Independence and those who fought the freedom struggle are not amused with the developments.

Free Press reached out to one such freedom fighters, Prem Narayan Nagar. The 94-year-old freedom fighter has seen it all be it evolution of Constitution, partition of India to the ugly turn that the politics of present has taken. He had casted his vote in every election since 1952. He hails from Shivpuri and has witnessed political history for than 50 years by remaining active there. He is presently settled in Ujjain.

Excerpts from Interview

Have you witnessed bypolls in MP on such a large scale?

Bypolls in Madhya Pradesh are being held on such a large scale for the first time. Since first elections in 1952, byelections in the state are not held on such a large scale. Rajmata Vijayaraje Scindia contested from Karera assembly segment of Shivpuri district in bypoll and from Guna parliamentary seat simultaneously, but she resigned from Guna and vacated the seat for Acharya Kripalani.

Can this trend be termed as people-friendly?

It’s not the issue pertaining to peoples’ choice if stalwarts change their political positions. Rajmata also did the same in 1967 as now her nephew Jyotiraditya Scindia has done it againt in 2020. The then Chief Minister DP Mishra dis-regarded her and intentionally avoided to give her time to meet her thrice. She was seeking his support to secure tickets for her loyalists from 2-3 assembly segments, but Mishra refused. Consequently he faced her rebellion and she became the cause of fall of the then Congress government. So also Jyotiraditya Scindia came to conclusion that the Congress would not send him to Rajya Sabha and would also not prefer him as the Pradesh Congress Committee president. Resultantly he revolted against the Congress party and finally the Kamal Nath government had to go. “They are feudalistic by birth and, thus, cannot tolerate any sort of disregard and dishonor.” However, this step of Jyotiraditya Scindia proved to be stormy for thousands of Congress workers. “How they would now obey the orders of BJP leaders. Whether they would be in a position to disobey Jyotiraditya Scindia either?”

Who should be held responsible for this mess?

Senior leaders like Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh should have stopped Jyotiraditya Scindia as he gave 18 years to the Congress party. Since both of them did not stop Scindia switching over to the BJP, they should equally own the responsibility of toppling of the party government. “Scindia should not be solely held responsible for present political instability and administrative paralysis in the State.”

Are commoners satisfied over these developments?

The events leading to bypolls are not good, but people are helpless. “They can vote only once in 5 years.” People are agonised due to various reasons, but what can they do in given circumstances? They don’t have any option other than casting their votes- every five years.

To be continued..........

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