Rahul Gandhi picks Kamal Nath as MP Congress chief

Rahul Gandhi picks Kamal Nath as MP Congress chief

The Congress appointed senior leader Kamal Nath as president of its Madhya Pradesh unit. Pic @OfficeOfKN

Ending months of suspense, the Congress on Thursday appointed veteran leader Kamal Nath as the President of the party's Madhya Pradesh unit and put Jyotiraditya Scindia in-charge of the campaign for the year-end Assembly elections.

The 71-year-old Kamal Nath pipped Scindia to the post with the support of two-term former chief minister Digvijay Singh, who had withdrawn from the leadership race.

In a balancing act, Congress President Rahul Gandhi appointed four Working Presidents – Bala Bachchan, a former AICC Secretary and a tribal leader, Ramniwas Rawat and Surendra Chaudhary (SC) and MLA from Rau in Indore Jitu Patwari.

In selecting Kamal Nath, Gandhi has sent a signal to the veteran leaders in the party that he valued their experience and they would continue to play key roles in the organisation.

BJP rise

The changes in Madhya Pradesh were long debated within the Congress with Kamal Nath and Scindia staking claim for the coveted post. The scales tilted in Kamal Nath's favour after he got the backing of Singh, who was keen to keep Scindia away.

Kamal Nath's immediate task would be to unseat BJP's three-term Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and bring the Congress back to power in the state which it last won in 1998.

Scindia was the chairman of the campaign committee during the 2013 assembly elections also, when Chouhan-led BJP had improved its tally to 165 seats from the 143 it had won in the 2008 elections.

“I will do my best to ensure the defeat of the BJP and non-secular forces,” Kamal Nath said even as he thanked Rahul Gandhi and party senior Sonia Gandhi, expressing trust in the former.

New Goa chief 

In Goa, Gandhi appointed young leader Girish Chodankar, a former AICC Secretary, as the President of the state unit. Chodankar succeeds Shantaram Naik, who had announced his resignation soon after the AICC Plenary last month.

Chodankar, who had worked closely with Rahul Gandhi, shot to fame after he gave a tought fight to Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar in the assembly bypoll last year.

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