Congress has long battled its internal rift and gnomic lag in responding to political shifts.
As Assembly elections in various states approach building up to the 2024 Lok Sabha, Congress is contemplating impending reshuffle at the general secretary and state in-charges level and more importantly, the appointment of a working President to reduce the load of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Sources say Congress may bring in a former chief minister from the Hindi-speaking heartlands and rumblings indicate that Digvijaya Singh, the former Madhya Pradesh CM; Bhupinder Singh Hooda, former Haryana CM and Kamal Nath, who was the CM of Madhya Pradesh recently and has also been the Union Minister many times in the Centre are the top contenders.
The fourth person is Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha and former CM of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources say that Kamal Nath is likely to be appointed as a working president for his vast experience and good working relations with most of the political parties, including Left, Trinamool and NCP.
He has been seen as a person with a good networking within the political set up, including those parties which are at fence.
Kamal Nath has risen to be Sonia Gandhi’s political confidante after the demise of her political advisor Ahmed Patel. Nath was instrumental in organising a meeting between the G-23 and Gandhi last December.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda was one of the signatories in the letter written to Sonia Gandhi last year in which Ghulam Nabi Azad was also a signatory.
Digvijaya Singh fulminates on issues like RSS, and this week was taken into custody for participating in a Youth Congress agitation along with Rahul Gandhi.
His other actions have damaged the party including the tiff with Jyotiraditya Scindia during his stint as general secretary which led to the collapse of the previous Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government.
In terms of what matters, Kamal Nath’s frequent consultations with Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has brought him into the realm of those “trusted” by the Gandhi family.
Sources also said that he wants no interference from the Secretariat of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra but only the Gandhis themselves.
Observers say that Kamal Nath has been part of the troika of Late Ahmed Patel and Murli Deora. The three were seen as smooth political players and those who knew which string to be pulled when to set right the political equations. The other Chief Ministers like Hooda, late YSR Reddy and Ashok Gehlot, late Vilas Rao Deshmukh were part of the second rung during 2000 to 2014 when Sonia Gandhi was at the helm.
But, the Congress insiders feel it is too early to say anything as Sonia Gandhi wants to settle the in house problems of states before making any such decision.
She wants states like Rajasthan to be settled and preparation in elections going in states be firmed up.
She is trying to pacify many other leaders, including Hooda. In Delhi, she has appointed MLAs, who are supporting Hooda as observers for the MCD polls.