File photo: Kamal Nath Photograph:( Zee News Network )
After much procrastination, Congress appointed senior Congress MP and former Union Minister Kamal Nath as the PCC chief of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. Congress has been out of power in the state from 2003 onwards. Its biggest problem in the state is a plethora of leaders and dwindling cadre. The seniormost leader today is Kamal Nath who joined politics in the 1970's and was a close aide of Sanjay Gandhi.
Kamal Nath told WION, "The challenge is to build the party. The challenge lies in giving a new dimension to the state and tell a new growth story and for this Congress must form the government.”
When asked as to what he intends to do with the multiple leaders, Kamal Nath said, "I’m friends with everyone. My relationship with most of the leaders is good and I get along with everyone.”
The fact of the matter is that Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindhia was also very keen to become the PCC chief of Madhya Pradesh. There is no doubt that he is a popular young leader but within Congress, no one can match Kamal Nath's organisational muscle. Congress also faces a fund crunch and understands that Kamal Nath can help organise the elections better.
Even former chief minister Digvijay Singh was more disposed towards Kamal Nath. There is also the fact that the Congress did not make Kamal Nath leader of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha, because of caste considerations, despite his seniority.
There is a very popular saying about Kamal Nath in the Congress, told to me by a very senior leader. The senior leader told me, "If Kamal Nath is your friend, then he might save you from God once. But if he is your enemy, then even God may not be able to save you.”
For now Jyotiraditya Scindhia will have to be content with the position of head of the Congress Campaign Committee for Madhya Pradesh. Former union minister Arun Yadav, who was MP PCC chief so far, meanwhile will have to wait to be rehabilitated in Delhi.