In its bid to dislodge the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh,the Congress Tuesday decided to pitchfork a youthful face in the state by appointing Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia as chairman of the Assembly election campaign committee. It virtually makes him the face of the party to take on the BJP.
Although the Congress has a tradition of not projecting chief ministerial candidates,his appointment is seen as almost that.
The move comes close on the heels of senior Congress leader Kamal Nath endorsing Scindia for chief minister if Congress came to power. Senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi too rallied round Scindia. Scindia has a clean image and is considered popular among the youth.
Another stalwart,Digvijaya Singh,made it clear he was no more interested in state politics. Party leaders admit that PCC chief Kantilal Bhuria,a tribal leader,has not been able to make a mark as a leader.
Although critics have in the past claimed his influence is limited to Gwalior-Guna,party leaders said Scindia has off late expanded his reach,travelling across the state and addressing meetings.
Arjun Singhs son and Leader of the Opposition Ajay Singh has been made head of the Chargesheet Drafting Committee against the BJP government,and PCC Chief Kantilal Bhuria is heading the Election Committee in the state where the faction-ridden Congress was defeated in the last two Assembly elections. Sulking Congress leader Suresh Pachouri has been made head of the manifesto committee. The 22-member Election Committee has all senior leaders from the state.
Kamal Nath will coordinate election related committees,party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in an announcement.
Congress MP and former minister Arun Yadav will head the Assembly Election Management Committee while his Lok Sabha colleague Premchand Guddu leads the Committee to look after publicity,publication and media. Party leaders Indrajeet Patel and Meenakshi Natrajan have been made conveners.