By Yash Shukla
The faction driven politics inside the Congress party which has been seen as responsible for the successive defeats in Madhya Pradesh seems to have come to an end. Kamal Nath, who is one of the strongest leaders of the party in Madhya Pradesh, has agreed to name Jyotiraditya Scindia as the CM candidate in the upcoming assembly elections. The Congress party has been battling the infighting and internal feud among various party leaders. What are the recent developments which have brought this phase of unity in the party?
Singh sidelined, Nath top contender for Lok Sabha
Digvijaya Singh, the former chief minister and one of the obstacles in the path of Scindia, does not find himself in a position to challenge Scindia’s leadership. Digvijay Singh has been sidelined from the party after he failed miserably to help form the government in Goa despite the Congress winning maximum no of seats in the assembly. The alacrity and promptness shown by the BJP in forming the government despite winning lesser seats than the Congress was in sharp contrast to the lethargy and lack of political maturity shown by Singh. After that incident, Digvijaya Singh has been sidelined from the party and according to some leaders is not anymore in the good books of Rahul Gandhi.
As far as Kamal Nath is concerned, after the exit of Mallikarjun Kharge from the post of the leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, Scindia and Kharge are speculated to be the top contenders for the post and in the absence of Scindia, Nath will be the sole contender for the post and he seems to have contented himself with that and has endorsed the name of Scindia. The divided house of the Congress party was always seen as one of the main reasons for its lacklustre performance in the state and this time the Congress party does not want to take any chance.
Scindia: A youthful face for the party
Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is presently the Member of Parliament from the Guna constituency, is a promising leader. His skills can be gauged from the fact that he was able to retain his support base even during the 2013 state assembly polls when the Modi wave was very prominent across the state. In contrast to Digvijaya Singh or Kamal Nath, he is a great speaker who can communicate easily with the masses. Apart from being a good orator, he has also been the Power minister in the UPA government and hence also proved his administrative skills. His credentials on account of probity and clean image are beyond doubt and his candidature, for the CM post, could enthuse the cadres and ranks of the party.
Of late, it has been seen that the traditional model of the Congress party announcing the Chief Minister post-elections is no longer viable when the politics is largely personality oriented and people have a craving to know their leader in advance. Punjab is the recent example where announcing the face of the party before elections paid a dividend to the party. Capt Amarinder Singh who led the campaign in Punjab was successful largely because of his mass base and leadership skills. Taking a leaf out of Singh’s notebook, Scindia could turn around the fate of the Congress party which is largely in shambles because of its so-called young and dynamic leadership of Rahul Gandhi. The emergence of young and efficient leaders in the Congress party is of utmost significance because the invincibility that Modi-led BJP flaunts is to some extent the product of the lack of promising leaders in the Congress party because of which people have no alternative.
Maharaja versus Mama
Summing up the impending contest between Shivraj-led BJP and Scindia-led Congress party one could see the tussle between the two leaders whose personalities are poles apart. Akin to the 2013 assembly elections, the BJP will try to undermine the leadership of Scindia by calling him an elite and showcasing his royal identity, which could be exploited to create a gulf between voters and Scindia. On the other hand, Scindia in all probability will exploit the charges of corruption like Vyapam scam to undermine the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chauhan. The BJP would also be battling with the anti-incumbency its ministers are facing.
On the development front, it would be an uphill task for Scindia to undermine Shivraj’s performance as even the detractors of Shivraj’s government believe that Shivraj “Mama” has ushered development in some sectors like agriculture and power. But defending the charges of corruption and the high-handedness of its ministers would be easier said than done for the Shivraj-led BJP. But in all likelihood, the contest of 2018 is going to be interesting between these two leaders. May the voters of MP choose a better leader!
Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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