Trouble seems to be brewing for the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, where its government is headed by Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
In the eye of the current storm brewing in the central state is a sudden change in the Twitter status of one of its prominent leaders, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was a hot contender for the chief minister’s post when the Congress won the Assembly elections in December last year.
Until now, Scindia’s bio on Twitter termed himself a former Union Minister and Parliamentarian from the Guna Lok Sabha constituency in Madhya Pradesh. On Monday, his bio on Twitter read: “Public Servant and Cricket Enthusiast”.
When asked, Scindia told news agency ANI that he had changed the status on Twitter a month ago on the advice that he ‘shorten his bio’.
But there were other developments reported from Madhya Pradesh that could unnerve the Congress, which is now entangled in a battle with the Bharatiya Janata Party to take over the reins in Maharashtra in alliance with the Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party.
ABP News reported that 20 Madhya Pradesh Assembly legislators (MLAs) of the Congress, who are supporters of Scindia, were missing and could not be reached through any communication channel.
There were also reports that 32 Congress MLAs were ‘missing’.
This development has led to concerns over the survival of the Kamal Nath government in the central Indian state.
In the 230-strong Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Congress has 115 MLAs. Besides, it has the support of an independent, a Samajwadi Party MLA, and two Bahujan Samaj Party representatives. The BJP has 107 MLAs, while three other independents could also support it.
BJP sources told Swarajya that nothing was happening openly in Madhya Pradesh to destabilise the Kamal Nath government. “Whatever is happening, it is taking place covertly,” the sources said.
“But the fact is that anything can happen anytime to the Kamal Nath government since even Congress legislators are unhappy,” the sources said.
Scindia, in particular, is upset is that he has been unable to get things done either for himself or for those close to him. “Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh have got together and have sidelined Scindia totally, so much so that the latter is totally feeling left out,” the sources added.
Scindia, who was one of the advisers to former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, was pipped to the Chief Minister’s post by Kamal Nath. With the BJP sweeping the Lok Sabha polls in June this year in Madhya Pradesh, Scindia has been sulking, especially after he lost from the Guna constituency.
Young Scindia also quit as the general secretary of the Congress after Rahul Gandhi quit as the party’s president.
Scindia’s supporters have been demanding that he be made the Congress chief in Madhya Pradesh, but Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh have been pushing the case of Ajay Singh, son of the late Arjun Singh.
BJP sources don’t rule out a Karnataka-like situation emerging in Madhya Pradesh, where 20-odd legislators could quit and render the Congress to minority status.
“The Congress has failed to keep many of the promises it made before the December 2018 elections. In particular, the Kamal Nath government has not waived loans to farmers, as promised. On top of it, allegations of corruption will harm the party if a Karnataka-like situation crops up,” the sources added.
Last week, on Kamal Nath's birthday, advertisements were issued in newspapers in Hindi trolling the chief minister. Apparently, all is not well for the Congress in the state.
M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani
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