Sonia diffuses MP Congress crisis

Sonia Gandhi. PTI file photo

Stepping in to stop an open factional fight, the party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi has indicated that Kamal Nath will continue on both the posts of the chief minister and the PCC head for now.

According to Congress sources, Sonia Gandhi has also warned state ministers against voicing their grouses against senior party leaders in public. The Congress high command was compelled to intervene as the rebellious posturing of Jyotiraditya Scindia’s supporters on one hand and state ministers’ bickering over Digvijay Singh’s controversial letter, on the other, widely damaged the Kamal Nath government's image in the last four days.

The intervention has brought about the desired effect. Scindia's supporters have fallen silent and so have the ministers and MLAs. The Chief Minister has emerged more powerful from the unsavoury show of factionalism in the ruling party, and sent out a warning to ministers and MLAs in a meeting on Thursday.  

Kamal Nath, who had offered to resign from the PCC  president post in the aftermath of the Congress’s crushing defeat in Lok Sabha election, has been asked to retain the post till there was a consensus about his successor.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, the frontrunner for the post, has already said he would abide by Sonia Gandhi’s decision. He has also asked his supporters to desist from talking to the media or putting posters on the issue. His loyalists in the state, particularly the Gwalior-Chambal region, had held out a threat of open revolt last week if the scion of the former Gwalior state was not made state Congress president.

Digvijaya Singh too has left it to the high command to take action against the minister who openly accused him of blackmailing the chief minister and trying to establish himself as a parallel power centre.

Forest minister Umang Singhar had levelled the allegations in reaction to a letter that Digvijay Singh wrote to all ministers on August 22. The letter sought progress on the recommendations the senior Congress leader had made about works of party workers and others.   

Talking to media men on Friday, the former chief minister defended his letter, saying as a Rajya Sabha member he had every right to know from ministers about works he had recommended. 
 

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