Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress fields Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal, BJP’s bastion since 1989 - The Statesman

Lok Sabha elections 2019: Congress fields Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal, BJP’s bastion since 1989

Digvijaya Singh

Digvijaya Singh (File Photo: IANS)

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh will contest Lok Sabha elections 2019 from Bhopal.

Late on Friday, the Congress nominated Singh effectively ending his political exile. But in doing so, the Congress also fielded him on a seat which has voted for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 1989.

Singh, who has not contested elections in the last 16 years, is a former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and had the option of contesting from Indore, Jabalpur or Bhopal.


Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath announced on Friday that the decision to field Singh from Bhopal was taken by the central election campaign committee of the party.

The announcement comes a week after Kamal Nath reportedly “challenged” Digvijaya Singh to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the toughest seat for the Congress in Madhya Pradesh.

On Monday, 18 March, Singh responded to Kamal Nath tweeting: “I thank Kamal Nath ji for finding me capable of fighting on seats where the Congress is weak in MP. With the blessings of people of Raghogarh, I came to power in 1977 against the Janata Party wave. Accepting challenges is my habit. I will contest elections from wherever my leader Rahul Gandhi says.”


Bhopal was last held by the Congress in 1984 when former President Shankar Dayal Sharma had secured this seat for the party.

Singh is a sitting Rajya Sabha MP and has previously contested the Lok Sabha elections from Rajgarh parliamentary constituency. He won from the parliamentary seat for the first time in 1984 and then again in 1991. He also served as an MLA from Rajgarh assembly constituency during his 10-year rule as Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh from 1993 to 2003.

The BJP won 27 of 29 parliamentary seats in 2014 Lok Sabha election while the Congress could manage only two.

Besides Singh, the Congress has fielded Madhu Bhagat from Balaghat, Shailendra Diwan from Hoshangabad, Kanti Lal Bhuria from Ratlam (ST), Ramu Tekam from Betul (ST), Smt Kiran Ahirwar from Tikamgarh (SC), Smt Kavita Singh from Khajuraho, Smt Pramila Singh from Shahdol (ST), and Meenakshi Natarajan from Mandsour.

Madhya Pradesh will vote in four of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls on 29 April and 6, 12 and 19 May.