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Amid Speculations of Kamal Nath Moving to National Politics, Former CM Puts up Show of Authority

File photo of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath.

File photo of former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath.

After the recent demise of Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora, two close aides of Gandhi family, it was widely speculated that Nath, a known loyalist of the Gandhis, could be shifted to New Delhi to anchor the shaky ship of the grand old party.

Amid speculations of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) chief Kamal Nath - who is also the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly - being moved to national politics, the leader has shown signs of his authority within the party's state unit.

After the recent demise of Ahmed Patel and Motilal Vora, two close aides of Gandhi family, it was widely speculated that Nath, their known loyalist, could be shifted to New Delhi to anchor the shaky ship of the grand old party.

Nath’s close aide Sajjan Singh Verma publicly stated that the party leadership wanted to shift the former Chief Minister to New Delhi. Verma had claimed that the high command was planning to entrust Nath with some key responsibility.

The party top leadership will take the final call, the former minister said. However, he added that he and other leaders wanted Nath to remain in Madhya Pradesh.

Prior to this, during a public meeting in home town of Chhindwara, Nath himself had hinted that he could retire from politics but later clarified saying he was misinterpreted. On Sunday, the veteran leader took his critics by surprise urging party cadre to start preparing for 2023 assembly polls while taking the upcoming civic body polls in February as a mock test for the big fight.

“Don’t take these civic polls lightly as these are polls connected to the public directly,” said Nath, and added that leaving behind nepotism and favouritism, the leaders should work for shortlisting deserving candidates.

On Monday, Nath stalled the party protest in favour of farmers in which the Congress MLAs were to reach assembly on tractors under the leadership of former MPCC chief Arun Yadav.

Sources claimed that Yadav was left fuming after the MPCC chief instructed to hold a silent protest instead. Yadav also told the media that protest was adjourned as per directives of the MPCC chief adding that his preparedness was complete.

It is also believed that Nath’s decision came after his old friend Digvijaya Singh pushed for Arun Yadav to be named new MPCC chief in case Nath is sent to Delhi. It is speculated that he could be appointed as party treasurer, a post held by Motilal Vora until his death.

first published:December 28, 2020, 22:20 IST