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Madhya Pradesh: Congress appoints Kamal Nath as state chief, Jyotiraditya Scindia to lead poll campaign

While Jyotiraditya Scindia was keen to have a central role for himself, Kamal Nath emerged as the choice for the party president’s post after former chief minister Digvijaya Singh threw his weight behind him.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi/bhopal |
Updated: April 27, 2018 5:59:42 am
Madhya Pradesh: Congress appoints Kamal Nath as state chief, Jyotiraditya Scindia to lead poll campaign Congress leader Kamal Nath (Files)

The Congress on Thursday stopped short of naming a Chief Ministerial candidate for the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, appointing old warhorse Kamal Nath as the new president of the state unit and handing over the reins of the campaign to the young Jyotiraditya Scindia in a delicate balancing act. Sources said new heads will soon be appointed in a few more states, including Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Arun Yadav, the outgoing president of the state unit, announced that he would not contest either Lok Sabha or Assembly polls in the state. Yadav said he was leaving for Delhi on Thursday and was likely to meet Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, a meeting he said would decide his future responsibility in the party. When asked if he was unhappy with the party for replacing him ahead of the Assembly elections, he replied in the negative and said he would continue to work for the organisation.

Scindia had been demanding that the party announce a CM candidate in Madhya Pradesh, but the high command has virtually made Nath, the nine-time Lok Sabha MP from Chhindwara, the front-runner for the post by naming him as the state unit chief.

Also read | Pre-poll shuffle: BJP gets new chief in Madhya Pradesh

Scindia was the chairman of the campaign committee during the 2013 Assembly elections as well. Sources in the Congress said the party is still open to announcing a CM candidate. “It is still very much open. Appropriate decisions will be taken at the appropriate time,” a senior AICC functionary told The Indian Express.

While Scindia was keen to have a central role for himself, Kamal Nath emerged as the choice for the party president’s post after former chief minister Digvijaya Singh threw his weight behind him. The realisation that he as the senior-most leader from the state could be better equipped to manage factional feuds was another reason which went in his favour.

The party also appointed four working presidents — Bala Bachchan, Ramnivas Rawat, Jitu Patwari and Surender Choudhary — considering factional and caste balance.

(With inputs from Express News Service)

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