Discontent, which surfaced in Madhya Pradesh Congress in March this year, bringing down the Kamal Nath government, seems deeply rooted in the party as days after two party MLAs resigned, senior MLAs can be heard venting out against party leadership.
On Monday, senior MLA and former minister Govind Singh stated that the party has turned into a centralised unit in the state.
Singh’s remarks come a day after former chief minister Kamal Nath had convened a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party at his residence in Bhopal and made attempts to scan underlying discontent among MLAs.
Besides having a one-on-one meeting with the MLAs, PCC chief Kamal Nath had administered an oath to MLAs that 'they will remain with the Congress party forever'.
The Congress party has switched to damage control mode after two MLAs, Pradyumn Singh Lodhi and Sumitra Devi Kasdekar, resigned recently.
KP Singh 'Kakkaji’, MLA from Pichhore (Shivpuri), on Monday, called on state Home Minister Narottam Mishra in Bhopal, triggering speculations in political circles. Singh was among the MLAs, who had made their disappointment public after being denied ministerial berth in the Kamal Nath government.
Former minister PC Sharma had declined to read anything between the lines and termed this a courtesy visit from an MLA to the home minister of the state.
Meanwhile, speaking to News18 India, Govind Singh, the former GAD minister expressed displeasure in the manner in which the party state unit was being run presently. Singh pointed out that Nath, despite his old age, remains engaged from morning to evening. "The question is that the party has got centralised in the state whereas it should distribute all functions proportionately among seniors who have both capabilities and mass base which could also avoid uncomfortable situations."
It’s interesting to note that Nath also was appointed as Leader of Opposition recently and when he was the chief minister for 15 months, he had kept the post of PCC chief with him.
Singh, a senior MLA from Lahar in Bhind district, is among few prominent Congress faces from Gwalior-Chambal region, especially after the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia, and was a contender for the post of Leader of Opposition in MP assembly. Out of 26 Assembly bypolls, 16 are due in Gwalior-Chambal region and it was expected that the post could go to Singh.
Commenting on the exodus in the party, the senior MLA accepted that somewhere the party is lacking and the seniors perhaps could not stand with the younger ones. “Many junior leaders have claimed that they did not get the desired affection from the senior party leaders which is a prominent cause of their resentment and lack of communication from the party only added to this anger.”
However, the Congress party despite all the battering and bruises is still putting up a brave face ahead of by-polls.
“Democratic limits are constantly breached in the state. By-polls may be at 24, 25 or 26 seats but it is a fact that the day the results are announced, the Congress party will make a comeback and BJP government will depart,” Congress media cell chairperson and the Working president Jitu Patwari said.
Meanwhile, after the exit of Jyotiraditya Scindia from Congress party early this year, it was widely believed that it could be an individual clash betweenScindia and seniors Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath but as the remaining MLAs are venting out anger publically, with some of them leaving the camp, it seems all is not well within Congress party.