A poster demanding that former Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia be made Congress president caused a flutter in the party’s faction-ridden Madhya Pradesh unit.
The poster, which was removed later, came up outside the state Congress office in Bhopal two days after senior party leader and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted that he hoped to see a youth leader succeed Rahul Gandhi as party chief.
Leaders close to Scindia described the demand as “natural” but said they had no role behind putting up the poster.
State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Pradyumna Singh Tomar said it would have been ideal had Rahul continued as Congress president, but because he was not ready to do that, someone would have to take over and Scindia fit the bill. He is young and dynamic and many in the country want him to take that role, said Tomar. He added that the Congress Working Committee will take a final decision in the matter.
Pankaj Chaturvedi, known to be close to Scindia, who lost the recent parliamentary election from Guna, said Congress workers “enjoy freedom of expression” and can express their wish. He said though the final decision rests with the high command, Scindia should get a “bigger role” at the national level or state level because he is “capable”.
However, the demand did not go down well with PWD Minister Sajjan Singh Verma —known to be close to Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Verma said it was difficult to imagine the Congress without a Gandhi-Nehru family member heading it. He said that since Rahul did not want to continue at the party helm, the mantle should pass to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is “dynamic and would make an ideal president”.