National

Congress in Madhya Pradesh may get full-time head soon

Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia being welcomed by party workers during his arrival at Madhya Pradesh Congress headquarters, in Bhopal, on January 17, 2020.

Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia being welcomed by party workers during his arrival at Madhya Pradesh Congress headquarters, in Bhopal, on January 17, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

CM Kamal Nath has been heading the party for the past 20 months; Jyotiraditya Scindia is considered the front runner

Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who has also been heading the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) for the past 20 months, will soon make way for a new party president. Sources told The Hindu that a new president might be announced in the next 10 days.

Senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, considered the front runner, is learnt to have met Congress president Sonia Gandhi last Wednesday.

For several months now, amid reports of Mr. Scindia considering other political options, his supporters have been pushing for his elevation as the MPCC president. His changing bio on his Twitter handle to ‘public servant, cricket enthusiast’ from Congress general secretary and former Lok Sabha member only added to the confusion. But he dismissed the speculation as “baseless”. With his meeting with Ms. Gandhi, the expectations of his elevation have risen again.

Mr. Scindia, who has been touring the State for the past two days, has been given a rousing welcome by party workers. On Sunday, he launched the State’s pulse polio immunisation campaign in Bhopal.

Sources familiar with the developments, however, said the party would also make other changes — accommodating “performing” lawmakers and local leaders as heads of corporations and cooperatives and elevating district leaders to the MPCC. The aim will be a fine balance among different factions of the Congress which has returned to power after 15 years of BJP rule. And in the Congress, where workers owe their allegiance to leaders rather than the party, the high command will also have to factor in the views of other senior leaders like former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh. It is no secret that Mr. Scindia and Mr. Digvijaya Singh are not the best of friends, though all factions had worked together to defeat the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the December, 2018 election.

Another crucial State where the party is set to appoint new leadership is Karnataka. D.K. Shivakumar is the front runner for the post of president. Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who recently met Ms. Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, is said to be pushing for M.B. Patil. But party sources said Mr. Shivakumar would likely be rewarded for playing the role of a troubleshooter.

The party recently appointed a new president for Andhra Pradesh where the Congress has been wiped out after the creation of Telangana in 2010.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 8:04:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-in-madhya-pradesh-may-get-full-time-head-soon/article30600409.ece

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