‘Political coordination, friendship’: Digvijaya Singh recounts how Amit Shah helped during Narmada pilgrimage
Recounting the event, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh revealed how Shah had directed a forest officer to cooperate with them when they reached their destination in Gujarat around 10 pm and there was no way ahead through the forested area and no facility to stay.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh while speaking during the launch of “Narmada Ke Pathik”, a book penned by his long-time associate OP Sharma on Thursday, has revealed how Union Home Minister Amit Shah as well as RSS workers had helped him and his wife Amrita during their ‘Narmada Parikrama’ four years ago.
Recounting the event, Singh revealed how Shah had directed a forest officer to cooperate with them when they reached their destination in Gujarat around 10 pm and there was no way ahead through the forested area and no facility to stay.
“Elections were going on [in Gujarat], Digvijaya is their biggest critic, but he [Mr. Shah] ensured that there should not be any problem during our yatra. They found way for us through the mountains and also arranged food for all of us,” the Congress veteran was quoted as saying by the PTI news agency.
Lasting six months Singh and his wife had started the over 3000 km-long journey from Barman Ghat in Narsinghpur district on September 30, 2017.
“Till today I have not met Mr. Shah, but I expressed my gratitude to him through proper channels,” he added.
This was an example of “political coordination, adjustment and friendship, which has nothing to do with politics and ideology,” the Congress veteran said.
Despite being a strong critic of the RSS, Singh said its workers kept meeting him during the yatra.
“I asked them why they were taking so much trouble, they told me that they had orders to meet me,” he said.
RSS workers arranged the stay for his group at a Manjhi Samaj Dharamshala one day when Singh was passing through Bharuch region and the hall where they stay put up had photos of RSS stalwarts Keshav Baliram Hedgewar and Madhavrao Sadashivrao Golwalkar on the walls, the Congress veteran narrated.
Singh said that he was mentioning all this to let people know that religion and politics are different, and he had “taken help from all” during his pilgrimage.
The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said, BJP’s youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader and three other BJP workers were part of his group, and they are now inseparable part of his “Narmada family”.
Recounting the late spiritual leader Daddaji, Singh was quoted saying Daddaji had directed his follower and actor Ashutosh Rana to make arrangements for ‘bhandara’ (community feast) at Barman Ghat.
Former Union Ministers Suresh Pachouri and Kantilal Bhuria, and few spiritual leaders also spoke at the book launch function.
Amrita, recounting her experiences, stressed that there is a need to conserve the environment along the river.
Meanwhile, Shivna Prakashan, the publisher, announced that 5% of sales proceeds would be earmarked for the conservation of the Narmada.