On Friday, Madhya Pradesh Congress received a major setback as Premchand Guddu, the former Congress MP and MLA from the state has left the party and joined the BJP, alleging caste discrimination.
Guddu was a Lok Sabha member during the second term of UPA and then MLA from Madhya Pradesh under the Chief Ministership of senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
Speaking to Republic TV, Guddu revealed reasons for leaving the Congress and joining hands with the saffron party. He said, “Discrimination is being done against SC/STs and they’re not being involved in any programmes. And I don’t think that they (Congress) want to form a government with the support of the 37-38% SC/STs there. If they manage to keep their 57 seats (in 231-seat assembly), it’ll be a big achievement.” He further said, “I have written hundreds of mails but nobody paid any heed. Keeping 57 seats will also be a problem for them.”
He also lambasted the Congress for the ongoing tussle within the party. Guddu said, “It’s shameful that Raja-Maharajas (Digvijaya is referred to as Raja, Scindia is descendent from the line of Maharajas of Gwalior) have to fight over tickets. Was there one SC/ST neta who was called there? They want to form a government of maharajas and businessmen and loot. We won’t let them.”
One of the reasons which are being provided behind Guddu’s harsh remark for Scindia and Digvijay is the dispute that happened between them regarding the selection of candidates. According to Republic TV, Scindia had fielded candidates according to his wish in areas, Digvijaya Singh has a stronger clout, as result, the latter raised strong objections against the decision of the former one. Both Scindia and Digvijay argued in the presence of the party President Rahul Gandhi who tried his level best to pacify both of them and said that the prime goal at this point must be to focus on defeating the BJP rather than wasting time and energy infighting within the party. Rahul Gandhi also constituted a three-member committee including senior leaders- Veerappa Moily, Ashok Gehlot, and Ahmed Patel to look after the ticket distribution process.
In November, Madhya Pradesh is going to polls. With elections this close, there should have been ongoing preparations to go head on with the Shivraj Singh Chouhan led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state. But the Congress, as of now is facing a battle of its own, and this infighting is bound to hurt prospects of Congress in the state. Now the leaders of Congress are also abandoning the ship because of infighting. 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, Kamal Nath was made in-charge of the MP election campaign.
The main fight seems to be between the Madhya Pradesh Congress president Kamal Nath and campaign committee chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia. However, there is still uncertainty about in the direction in which the former CM of MP- Digvijay Singh- would swing.
Supporters of both the CM aspirants, Kamal Nath, and Scindia are fighting among themselves. The Congress in MP has everything that could go wrong for a party before a crucial election. All these irreconcilable differences within the Congress party will only benefit its rival BJP. The road is not easy for the Congress in MP and under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, even the cake walk seems like a perilous path.