Jyotiraditya Scindia’s elevation as AICC general secretary and shift to west Uttar Pradesh as in charge ahead of the Lok Sabha election not only signifies a rise in his stature but also truce in the intra-party squabbles in the Madhya Pradesh Congress.
In a way, it is a win-win situation for both Scindia and Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Now Kamal Nath has only one leader of stature, Digvijaya Singh, to deal with in the state. Both have shown great mutual chemistry before and after the recent Assembly election which saw the Congress return to power after 15 years in Madhya Pradesh.
Other Congress leaders, who could be potential troublemakers for the chief minister, have lost the Assembly election. Therefore, their political standing has drastically diminished, including Suresh Pachouri, former leader of opposition Ajay Singh and former PCC president Arun Yadav. Thus, Kamal Nath has virtually got free reign, unencumbered of factional fighting.
Kamal Nath and Scindia were frontrunners for the chief minister’s post. Congress president Rahul Gandhi picked 72-year-old Kamal Nath, acknowledging his seniority and political acumen. Scindia and particularly his supporters were demonstrably unhappy over the Congress high command’s decision.
Speculations were rife that the rumblings in the party over Kamal Nath’s selection could adversely hit the Congress prospects in the Lok Sabha election. Scindia’s recent “courtesy meeting ” with former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan further fuelled rumours about the Guna Lok Sabha member’s rift with the chief minister.
Congress sources say Scindia’s elevation is a happy augury for the party in MP.
“He ( Scindia) will be too busy with his new and crucial assignment in Uttar Pradesh to cross swords with Kamal Nath over party or administrative matters,” a senior party leader said.
Although Uttar Pradesh will be his main focus, Scindia will remain connected to his bastion-Guna. “I will contest next election from Guna as people of my constituency have been loving me for over two decades,” Scindia said in a public meeting in Guna on Wednesday.
He also said that he would love to campaign in Madhya Pradesh also if the party asked him.