Late Shrimati Asha Digvijaya Singh (m. 1969-2013)
Amrita Rai (m. 2015)
B.E. Educated at S.G.S.I.T.S., Indore, Madhya Pradesh
MP of Rajya Sabha for Madhya Pradesh since 10 April 2014
15th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (7 December 1993 - 8 December 2003)
About Digvijay Singh
Digvijaya Singh, an Indian politician belonging to the Congress party, is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. He is also currently a General Secretary of the Indian National Congress party's All India Congress Committee. Previously, he had served as the 14th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, a central Indian state, for two terms from 1993 to 2003. He is often called as the new "Arjun Singh" by political leaders. Having lost the assembly elections of 2003, Digvijay had taken an oath that he will not take part in any election for a period of 10 years. After being absent from the political theater for 10 years, Digvijay in 2013 has been in the news for his accusations against the BJP. He has also commented on various groups like the RSS, calling it as "saffron terror".
Personal background of Digvijay Singh
Digvijaya Singh was born on February 28, 1947 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. He completed his schooling at Daly College, Indore, and graduation in Mechanical Engineering (B.E.) at the Shri GovindramSeksaria Institute of Technology and Science (SGSTI), Indore. He got married to Asha Digvijaya Singh, and has a son and four daughters. On February 28, 2013 his wife lost her life to cancer. In April 2014, he confirmed that he was in a relationship with a Rajya Sabha TV anchor Amrita Rai; they married in late August 2015. He is a Hindu.
Digvijay Singh's interests before entering politics
Played hockey, cricket and football at school and college level
Played cricket at zonal level
Played squash at national level
An avid wildlife photographer
Positions held by Digvijay Singh
1969: President of the Raghogarh Municipal Council
1977, 1980: Became a Member of Parliament from Raghogarh in Guna District
1980: Cabinet Minister managing Agriculture, Animal Husbandry Fisheries Irrigation and Command Area Development
1984, 1991: Member of Parliament from Rajgarh
1985: President of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee
1992: President of MP Congress Committee
1993, 1998: Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
2013: General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee
2013: Member of the committee chaired by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for 2014 General Elections
Brought in practice the concept of decentralization of power to strengthen the poor people of villages. This led to setting up of 52,000 gram sabhas. There are eight Standing Committees for the gram sabhas to handle different activities. He and his work have also been appreciated worldwide for executing the concept of decentralization of power. As Sir Rob Young, British High Commissioner, commented "I am impressed with the work of Madhya Pradesh Government like Panchayati Raj & Rajiv Gandhi Mission. The works being run through decentralization of power and by public participation are commendable. The credit of this change goes to Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh."
More than 26,000 primary schools have been set up in MP. A primary school was set-up within one km of every village, whereas a secondary school was set up within three km of every village. During the tenure of Singh, there was 20.11 percent growth in literacy rate, according to the national census. Even in case of female literacy, the growth was recorded at 21 percent while the national average was 14 percent.
The percentage of malnourished children was down to 2.92 percent in 2002-03, from 16 percent in 1988-1989.
Controversies surrounding Digvijay Singh
1998 Multai farmer massacre- In1998, 19 to 24 farmers were shot dead by Madhya Pradesh police. Singh was Chief Minister of the state at the time and the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) blamed him for arresting farmers' leaders.
2004 land scam: An FIR was registered against Digvijay Singh by Special Police Establishment of Lok Ayukta, Madhya Pradesh for his involvement in a land scam. He was charged under Prevention of Corruption Act as well as criminal conspiracy.
Batla House encounter case: In 2011, Digvijay Singh suggested that the Batla House encounter case was fake. However, his opinion was rejected by the Congress. In 2013, the court also declared that the encounter was not staged. However, Singh denies to accept the judgement.
In another instance he was in controversy because he compared RSS to the Nazis. He holds the view that the RSS targets Muslims just like Nazis aimed to destroy Jews in the 1930s.
Sunil Joshi murder case: Sunil Joshi was an RSS activist charged for his involvement in the Ajmer Dargah attack. On December 29, 2007, his dead body was found at Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. Digvijay wanted the CBI to probe into the the murder of Joshi. He holds the view that Joshi was murdered because "he knew too much".
Remarks about female MP-In 2013, Singh described Meenakshi Natarajan, a female Congress MP from Mandsaur, as "sautunchmaal" ("totally unblemished")—a colloquialism The Times of India described as "frequently used loosely to describe a woman as 'sexy'". Advocates for women's rights were upset by Singh's comment and called for Congress to act against him. Singh said he meant that Natarajan was like "pure gold"; The Times of India commented that "tunchmaal" is "also a trade jargon among jewelers to describe the level of purity of the yellow metal" and added that Singh prefaced his comment about Natarajan by describing himself as a "political goldsmith".
Criticism of burial of bin Laden's body -Singh criticised the United States in 2011 for not respecting Osama bin Laden's religion when it buried him at sea, saying "however big a criminal one might be, his religious traditions should be respected while burying him." Congress leadership distanced itself from his views. Singh later said that his statement should not be interpreted as support for or opposition to bin Laden, adding "I had merely said that the worst of criminals should be cremated according to their faith. He is a terrorist and he deserved the treatment that he got.