Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Wednesday said he had no problems if the party projected MP Jyotiraditya Scindia as the chief ministerial face of Madhya Pradesh, which is scheduled to vote in 2018. This is so far the clearest indication in Scindia’s favour. Nath said party vice-president Rahul Gandhi will take the final call.
“I have no problems with Jyotiraditya Scindia. In fact, I have recently said that he should be made the chief ministerial candidate,’’ the Chhindwara Lok Sabha member told reporters in Guna. He repeated his views in Mungaoli. Elections are due in the state in 2018-end.
In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress had been out of power for 14 years. The state Congress had been a divided house with senior leaders Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath, Ajay Singh and Suresh Pachauri pulling in different directions and at times joining hands to squeeze out a faction or a leader.
Talking to reporters in Guna, Nath said the party has no difficulty in announcing a chief ministerial candidate. “It would happen at an appropriate time… there is no difficulty. Scindia and I have political as well as family relations and I have no problem…. As soon as Rahul (Gandhi) takes a decision…. Anyway, we are all working on the ground. There will be not much difference with the announcement of a post,” he said.
The popular perception is that state Congress chief Arun Yadav has been ineffective. With Digvijaya taking a political break, opting to go on a Narmada parikrama for six months, and Kamal Nath throwing his weight behind Scindia and Satyavrat Chaturvedi virtually sidelined, things appear to have brightened for the Guna MP. Sources said he could be appointed as the state Congress president.
Scindia was the head of the Congress election campaign committee in 2013 as well, but the party had come a cropper. This time, many in the the party believe he should be projected as the chief ministerial face against Shivraj Singh Chouhan in advance and not nearer to the elections.
Kamal Nath and Scindia had flown to Guna together from Delhi and gone to Mungaoli to attend a condolence meeting of former minister Mahendra Singh Kalukheda, who passed away recently.
Irrespective of the Congress high command’s decision, the ruling BJP has already started targeting Scindia by accusing him of land grab and insisting that the maharaja is no match to the kisan putra image of Chief Minister Chouhan.