To avoid the bad blood among various factions in its Madhya Pradesh unit, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) today passed a unanimous resolution requesting the party president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi to name the Leader of Opposition (LoP), a day ahead of the start of the budget session of the Assembly.
After the meeting to elect the LoP began today, the lone Muslim MLA Arif Aqueel got up and told the Central party observer Ajay Maken and Mohan Prakash, the AICC general secretary and the incharge of party’s state affairs, that holding one-on-one talks with the MLAs was a futile exercise as it creates bitterness, an MLA who attended the meeting told PTI.
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Recalling the appointment of (late) Satyadev Katare as the Leader of Opposition on previous occasion, Aqueel said the observer had held personal talks with the MLAs that time too but it didn’t help in reaching a consensus and the election too was not held.
Finally, the Congress high command named Katare as the LoP, who was nowhere in the scene, he said.
In today’s meeting, Aqueel suggested Sonia’s intervention for an amicable way out.
He was joined in by other MLAs, following which deputy LoP Bala Bachchan tabled a two-page resolution, requesting Sonia and Rahul to name their leader, the MLA said, adding it was passed unanimously.
Out of total 56 CLP members, Kamlesh Shah and Dinesh Ahirwar couldn’t make it to the meeting.
Earlier, Ajay Singh belonging to the AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh’s camp entered the meeting flanked by Thakur MLAs.
Ramniwas Rawat and Mahendra Singh Kalukheda were seen with the loyalist MLAs of Jyotiraditya Scindia. Rawat and Kalukheda are also eyeing for the LoP post.
Besides, Mukesh Naik, a Brahmin and a rival of Digvijay, and Bachchan, who is an acolyte of former Union Minister Kamal Nath, too are vying to become the LoP.
Last time, the then LoP Ajay Singh who was seeking re-election and Kalukheda, a senior MLA, were in the fray.
The two groups almost came to blows and Congress infighting spilled onto the roads.
The post of LoP fell vacant following the death of Katare in October last year.
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