The upcoming by-polls in Madhya Pradesh will decide the fate of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government as Kamal Nath is plotting revenge to return at the state’s helm. In a shocking statement which exposed Kamal Nath’s backward mentality, he lobbed a full toss to BJP by insulting former Minister Imarti Devi on the campaign trail. Nath’s comments received a huge backlash but a defiant Kamal Nath refused to budge and apologise. Sensing the imminent backlash on him, Rahul Gandhi condemned Nath’s comments, however, the powerful chieftain quickly dismissed the Prince’s comments — an indication of how Gandhis are becoming increasingly powerless.
Kamal Nath yet again hit a new low. As a desperate to return to power, he has crossed all lines of decency. Perhaps still licking his wounds, Nath called Woman leader, Imarti Devi as an “item” during one of his speeches on the campaign trail. Imarti Devi was a minister in the erstwhile Kamal Nath government but then jumped ship to BJP which saw the advent of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.
During an election meeting in Gwalior, Nath said, “Suresh Raje ji hamare ummeedvar hai…yeh uske jaise nah hai…kya hai uska naam … main kya uska naam lun? …apko toh mujhe pehle savdhan karna chahiye tha … yeh kya item hai…,” said Kamal Nath clearly referring to Imarti Devi, with the crowd, too, chanting her name.
The Former CM thinks that labelling Imarti Devi as an “item” will help Congress candidate Suresh Raje to win against Imarti Devi from Dabra constituency.
Nath has remained steadfast in his refusal to apologise as he claims that his comments have been distorted. Moreover, he even attempted to generalise the slur.
Rahul Gandhi, sensing a national controversy, attempted to wash his hands off Kamal Nath’s crass comment and said, “Kamal Nath Ji is from my party but personally, I don`t like the type of language that he used…I don`t appreciate it, regardless of who he is. It is unfortunate.”
Congress spokespersons masquerading as journalists led by Arfa Khanum went wax lyrical on Gandhi’s statement, however, Kamal Nath was less than impressed.
Kamal Nath, who has reached the heights in his political career because of years of acting as a loyal servant to the Gandhi family, shockingly dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s comments as “opinion”.
“It is Rahul Gandhi`s opinion. I have already clarified the context in which I made that statement… Why should I apologise when I did not intend to insult anyone? If anyone felt insulted, I have already expressed regret,” said Kamal Nath.
Before the advent of Modi government, any Congress leader, no matter how powerful, would have never made such a statement against Sonia or Rahul Gandhi. Kamal Nath’s dismissive attitude towards Rahul Gandhi signals that the Gandhi family is getting increasingly powerless and have lost the stronghold on the regional satraps.
In yet another instance of Rahul Gandhi’s diminishing clout within the party, the Congress had earlier released a mini-manifesto of sorts for the by-polls in Madhya Pradesh which had Rahul Gandhi missing from the cover page of the same.
The mini-manifesto lists out the ‘achievements’ of the Kamal Nath government which lasted for 15 months in the state before Jyotiraditya Scindia when the BJP pulled the rug off Congress’ feet. Interestingly, in 2018, the Congress manifesto had Rahul Gandhi’s picture at the centre of the cover page. From featuring him at the centre to now giving the youth leader a massive miss, the Madhya Pradesh Congress seems to have come a long way.
In poll-bound Bihar too, state leaders had subtly indicated that Rahul Gandhi needn’t come down to the state for campaigning, since the Congress was not in a position to win at all. According to media reports, Bihar state Congress leaders told Rahul Gandhi during an online party meeting that it was too late to prepare for the electoral battle in the absence of an organizational structure in the eastern state. Literal translation being— ‘We are respectfully arguing that you stay put in your cosy 10 Janpath bungalow and let us do some actual work, not the mere rhetoric.’
While the letter writer ‘rebels’ couldn’t achieve their goal of bringing intra-party democracy and thereby eventually remove the Gandhi family from the corridors of power, the mother-son duo of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have been reduced to lame ducks within their own party.