Other States

Congress building organisation at grassroots level, says Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath.

Kamal Nath.  

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and State Congress president Kamal Nath has said the party was building its organisation at the grassroots level in a bid to outmanoeuvre the one nurturing the BJP.

“We are strengthening our connect with the grassroots by working on our organisation,” said Mr. Nath, whose government fell on March 20 after the resignation of 22 rebel party MLAs — 19 pledging allegiance to former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, now Rajya Sabha MP.

Pointing to a multi-pronged political strategy, Mr. Nath said the Congress had to throw a challenge not just at the BJP but also its sangathan (organisation), led by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “The State’s voters are very smart. They will never forgive those who’ve betrayed their electoral mandate and teach them a lesson. The BJP will merely secure two-three seats,” he added. A reportedly disgruntled Mr. Scindia later joined the BJP with the MLAs in tow, paving the way for the return of Shivraj Singh Chouhan as Chief Minister after 15 months.

A sense of urgency to go in for byelections to 27 seats now pervades the Congress ranks, considering another three party MLAs have resigned since March and joined the BJP within hours of switching over, and further defections anticipated. “Time is running out for us. The BJP is reducing the bargaining power of Mr. Scindia’s faction by buying over more of our MLAs. Though this will reduce Mr. Scindia’s heft within the BJP, it will nonetheless continue to inflict damage on us,” said a Congress source.

The State Congress, led by Mr. Nath, openly supported the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya despite criticism, even from within the party, of compromising on its ideology and claims of secular credentials. Workers held a Hanuman Chalisa recitation across the State ahead of the ceremony. “Does the BJP have a patent over Lord Ram?” asked Mr. Nath. “Ram is everyone’s and the decision to build the temple was everyone’s wish.”

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 7:30:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/congress-building-organisation-at-grassroots-level-says-kamal-nath/article32352121.ece

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