As the rift between Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia burst out in the open with supporters of both clamouring for their respective leaders to have a say in the new state party chief’s selection, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has summoned the two leaders for a meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to reports, in a bid to avoid a dirty fight, Sonia Gandhi has called them separately. Scindia will meet Gandhi on Tuesday in Delhi while Kamal Nath will meet the Congress chief on Wednesday.
It is learnt that Sonia wants a party chief who has the backing of both Scindia and Kamal Nath, but at the moment it seems impossible.
Pro-Scindia factions are increasingly coming out in open.
Congress leader Ashok Dangi from Datia in Madhya Pradesh had issued a press note saying that if Scindia is kept away from state politics then he along with 500 others will resign from the party.
Then came Morena district chief Rakesh Mavai’s remark that “some state Congress leaders are finding it hard to digest Scindia’s popularity and conspiring to keep him out of Madhya Pradesh”.
Earlier, Jyotiraditya Scindia, a former Madhya Pradesh MP, had given the party high command ultimatum to make him head of the Madhya Pradesh unit, or else, he would “look for other options”.
Meanwhile, another prominent power centre in the state politics — Digvijay Singh — is against Scindia becoming the Congress chief in Madhya Pradesh, making Kamal Nath’s work easier.
Sources according to IANS said, the Chief Minister is keen to have a tribal party chief, which automatically scuttles Scindia’s chances.
This is not the first time Kamal Nath will be meeting Gandhi after she was made the interim Congress chief.
On August 30, Nath had met Sonia Gandhi to discuss the party’s organisational issues.
Dismissing speculations of trouble between the two leaders, Kamal Nath, who is the state Congress chief, said that he “doesn’t feel that Jyotiraditya Scindia is unhappy”.
Kamal Nath has offered to step down as the state unit chief following Congress’ drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections.
In Madhya Pradesh, the Nath-led Congress government is holding onto a wafer-thin majority.