The Congress party has released six lists of candidates for the MP polls. The party will contest on 229 out of 230 seats leaving the ‘Jatara‘ seat. According to a ‘Sunday Guardian’ report, the majority of the Congress candidates who have gotten the ticket belong to the camp of the party’s state chief, Kamal Nath. It has quoted a Congress party leader based in Bhopal saying, “A majority of the candidates owe their loyalty to Kamal Nath and to some extent Digvijaya Singh. So it is clear who the CM will be if we win. Nath is the one who is taking on the Chief Minister directly, both on social and traditional media, while the other claimant, Jyotiraditya Scindia, has slowly receded to the background.”
It is no hidden secret that in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress is divided into three factions- Jyotiraditya Scindia, Digvijay, and Kamal Nath. Although, Digvijay Singh has been steadily side-lined in the last few months by giving Kamal Nath the charge of the election campaign in MP. The main fight seems to be between state Congress president Kamal Nath and campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia. However, it is widely believed that Digvijay Singh is supporting Kamal Nath. Although former MP CM and senior Congress leader- Digvijay Singh- has announced that he is not a CM aspirant, however his support is extremely important for senior Congress leader Kamal Nath to do well in the elections. Digvijay Singh is still very popular among the party workers. His popularity was clearly evident during the six-month-long Narmada Yatra that he recently undertook.
One of the reasons behind Digvijay Singh supporting Kamal Nath could be the proximity of Congress President Rahul Gandhi with Jyotiraditya Scindia and he doesn’t want to see young and inexperienced Scindia becoming CM when there is already a senior and experienced leader with good record in development- Kamal Nath- is there in the party. He has everything which a good CM should have. And also by thwarting any attempt to make Scindia CM, he wants to pay Rahul Gandhi and the entire AICC leadership in the same currency. It is said that Digvijay Singh is not happy with the party as the Congress is not giving him any importance. Even his protégé Rahul Gandhi also royally snubbed him at his rally in Mandsaur, MP. Congress president Rahul Gandhi sidelined his political guru Digvijay Singh throughout the entire length of his speech, that too in Digvijay Singh’s home state.
As far as Madhya Pradesh is concerned, both Scindia and Kamal Nath are very strong faces of the Congress in the state but it is said Rahul Gandhi’s preference of CM post would be his close friend Scindia in case Congress defeats the BJP in MP.
However, it is Kamal Nath who has been vehemently attacking the incumbent CM Chouhan by asking him one question a day, as part of the 40 questions that he will ask until the elections “exposing the false claims” of good governance by the BJP in the last 15 years. A senior party spokesperson has said, “This exercise has served the dual purpose of exposing Chouhan and also making it clear that who the de-facto CM face of the Congress is.”
The Congress party is hoping to do well in MP. It strongly believes that it will successfully defeat the BJP this time in the state by crossing the majority mark. If it happens, then victorious MLAs will decide their leader, and in that case Kamal Nath will have an edge over Scindia because majority of the Congress candidates who have gotten the tickets belong to his camp as stated by the Sunday Guardian. One of the party functionary has said, “Rahul Gandhi has shown that he takes practical decisions and hence all the regional leaders are trying to ensure that the maximum number of their loyalists get tickets. If Congress passes the halfway mark and Nath has the support of more than half of the winning MLAs, no one can stop him from becoming the Chief Minister.” It also implies that Jyotiraditya Scindia has been completely sidelined by the party members in MP and he is not likely to become next CM of the state that is, if Congress somehow manages to win the upcoming state assembly elections.