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After Days of Infighting, Kamal Nath Issues Whip against Speaking outside Party Forum, Calls for Unity

File photo of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

File photo of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.

Forest Minister Umang Singhar, who had been speaking against senior party leader Digvijaya Singh, refused to talk to reporters while leaving Chief Minister Kamal Nath's residence.


Vivek Trivedi

Bhopal: After days of political mud-slinging and internal bickering ahead of appointment of the state unit president, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath summoned senior party leaders and issued an informal whip against speaking outside party forums.

Leaders who met Nath on Tuesday included Forest Minister Umang Singhar who had accused former chief minister and party veteran Digvijaya Singh of running the government from behind the scenes. Among the other senior functionaries present were Kamleshwar Patel, Harsh Singh and Jitu Patwari.

Nath, who is also the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, reportedly told Singhar that the latter should have come to him with his grievances instead of talking to reporters about it. He further asked other party leaders to maintain unity to ensure that governance was not hit, said the sources.

Singhar, while leaving the CM’s residence, refused to talk to reporters unlike the last few days when he had been making angry statements against party leaders.

Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari said Nath had clarified that speaking outside party forum would be considered indiscipline. “He seemed very serious on discipline and party unity,” he added.

Party media cell in-charge Shobha Oza, who also attended the meeting, said the party was like a family and all issues would be resolved. “Hamari party me matbhed ho sakta hai par manbhed nahin hai (there could be differences of opinion in our party, but not acrimony),” Oza said.

Earlier in the day, Singhar, who is the nephew of late Congress veteran Jamuna Devi, accused Singh of "blackmailing" the Congress-led government in the state. He even wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday claiming that Singh was trying to "destabilise" Nath’ government.

He also accused the veteran Congress leader of pressurising ministers and other officers in the state. Singh recently wrote to state ministers, urging them to give him appointment so he can know what action has been taken on his recommendations for transfers and other works.

Former Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Arun Yadav have also spoken out against the party alleging that the state government was deviating from the election manifesto. Senior Congress leader Manak Agrawal, considered a close confidante of Digvijaya Singh, said the chief minister had taken note of the issue and would soon out.

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