Bhopal, July 3

Senior Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath on Friday took potshots at BJP MP Jyotiraditya Scindia over his assertion “tiger is still alive”.

Scindia, who joined the BJP in March, was a bitter rival of Nath and Singh in the state when he was with the Congress.

Speaking on Thursday after cabinet expansion in the state in which his supporters got the lion’s share of ministerial posts, Scindia said he wanted to tell the two Congress leaders that “tiger abhi zinda hai”.

Singh hit back on Friday, saying “only one tiger lives in the forest”. The Congress Rajya Sabha member also recalled that before hunting became illegal, he used to hunt tigers with late Madhavrao Scindia, Jyotiraditya’s father.

“After Indira Gandhi introduced the Wildlife Conservation Act, I now capture tigers only in my camera,” the Congress veteran added.

“You know the character of tiger, in the forest, only one tiger lives,” Singh tweeted in Hindi.

The line `Tiger abhi zinda hai’ — inspired by a Salman Khan film — was first used in state politics by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan after the BJP lost power in Madhya Pradesh in 2018.

The cabinet expansion saw induction of 28 ministers, including nearly a dozen Scindia supporters who quit the Congress in March.

The war of words between Scindia on one hand and Singh and Nath on the other comes ahead of bypolls to 24 Assembly seats.

Singh also responded to Scindia’s remark in another tweet in Hindi: “Time is very powerful. You never know how many BJP tigers came to life with this expansion of cabinet. Just watch.”

Elsewhere, Kamal Nath took a dig at Scindia over the `tiger’ remark.

Speaking at a function in Ratlam district, Nath asked, “Which tiger is alive, paper tiger or a circus one?

“Some people say they are tigers. I am not even a tiger, but I am also not a paper tiger. Now the people of the state will decide who is who,” he added.

Meanwhile, Scindia along with Chief Minister Chouhan targeted Kamal Nath over the way the Congress government handled the coronavirus pandemic.

When the coronavirus outbreak started, then chief minister Nath was busy holding meeting for organizing International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in the state, Chouhan alleged.

“Nath did not hold any meeting on COVID-19 but had a meeting in Indore on IIFA Awards,” the Chief Minister alleged while addressing BJP workers on completion of 100 days his government.

“Today coronavirus infection rate in MP is the lowest in the country,” the BJP leader claimed. Scindia also took potshots at Nath over the issue.

“I want to ask him, how many hospitals Nath visited? How many poor people he met? How many tours he conducted?…the fact is when coronavirus knocked on the state’s door, Nath was holding a meeting for IIFA at Indore,” he said.

“In the last 14 days of his government, he was busy issuing appointment orders than dealing with coronavirus,” Scindia alleged and praised Chouhan for taking adequate measures to deal with the crisis. PTI

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