Ahead of the Assembly poll later this year, the Madhya Pradesh Congress has undertaken a massive organisational overhaul by appointing 150 new general secretaries, 50 vice-presidents and 64 district presidents.
The fresh list of office-bearers released on Sunday also saw the inclusion of former Chief Ministers Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath, and Mr. Nath’s son, Nakul, in the 21-member political affairs committee. The panel also includes Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Govind Singh and senior leaders Kanti Lal Bhuria, Suresh Pachouri, Arun Yadav, Ajay Singh, Vivek Tankha, Jitu Patwari, Mahender Joshi and Shoba Ozha.
However, soon after the announcement, party State in-charge J.P. Aggarwal said the list was not final. At least one appointment was “put on hold till further orders” following local opposition to the newly nominated district president of Indore.
Taking a dig at the Opposition party’s organisational rejig, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan termed the exercise a “circus”. He said everyone had been made an office-bearer as the party did not have sufficient workers. Mr. Chouhan also pointed out that the inclusion of Mr. Kamal Nath and his son in the political affairs committee was an example of nepotism.
“In the political affairs committee, a father-son duo has been included. Somewhere it is a party of a mother and son [a reference to former Congress presidents Sonia and Rahul Gandhi] and elsewhere it is a party of a father-son duo. This is the fate of the Congress…. Who is its worker? Only appeasement is going on [in the Congress],” he said.
Organisational changes were long overdue in the Congress’s State unit and the party is fancying its chances of coming to power with Mr. Gandhi making a bold prediction of sweeping the Assembly election.
However, Mr. Digvijaya Singh’s recent statement that there is no proof that India carried out surgical strikes against Pakistan in 2016 following the deadly terror attack in Jammu & Kashmir’s Uri has given the ruling BJP fresh ammunition to target the Congress. However, the party has officially distanced itself from the remarks.
Local body polls
Meanwhile, the BJP clinched 11 and the Congress eight of the 19 urban bodies that went to the polls in five districts in the State last week. The results declared on Monday showed that the Congress had managed to retain the Raghogarh municipal council, considered Mr. Singh’s stronghold. However, the BJP claimed that its workers gave the party a tough fight, managing to dent its support at the ward level.