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Amid war in MP Congress, Sonia to pick new state chief

By IANS Updated: Sep 04, 2019 10:51 pm

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS): With the crisis in the Madhya Pradesh Congress snowballing into a full-fledged war between the Jyotiraditya Scindia faction and the rest, the party on Wednesday said that the issue of the new party chief in the state will be decided within a fortnight.

A senior party leader, wishing not to be named told IANS: “The issue of the new party chief will be decided within 15 days.”

He said talks for the new unit chief in Madhya Pradesh have been taken up by Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi.

He pointed out that last week Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who is also the state party chief, had met Sonia Gandhi and also asked her to find a new chief.

The party leader said that Sonia Gandhi in the coming days will be holding meetings with former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, who is currently in Delhi and Scindia, who is expected to return to the national capital on Thursday.

He said Sonia Gandhi is also holding talks with the senior party leaders over the issue of appointing new party unit chief in the state. Earlier in the day, Scindia once again sounded a discordant note with his party and said that the Kamal Nath administration should listen to his ministers instead of allowing interference from outside.

Scindia, a Congress stalwart in Madhya Pradesh came out in support of state minister Umang Singhar, who has hit out at Digvijaya Singh and accused him of running a proxy government in the state.

Speaking in Gwalior, Scindia said, “The issues raised by Umangji should have been paid attention to. The chief minister should listen to both the sides, talk to them and come to a solution.”

Scindia also admitted that there are “differences” between the Kamal Nath government and several Congress leaders. “It is after 15 years and extreme hard work that the Congress party has come to power in Madhya Pradesh and it has been only six months,” he said.

“Several Congress leaders have high hopes and are expecting development from the party and the administration. There are differences and the government should sit and sort these out,” he said.

Scindia has been battling for the party’s top post in Madhya Pradesh which is currently held by Nath.

But to a question over the new state unit chief, Scindia said, “Sonia Gandhi will decide on the next Madhya Pradesh unit president and it would be acceptable to all.”

The post of Madhya Pradesh unit chief has been witnessing a tripartite backdoor contest with differences in the party cadre surfacing almost every day.

The issue, however, gained momentum after several party workers wrote to Sonia Gandhi demanding Scindia be made the state chief.

Speculations are rife that Digvijaya Singh has been opposing Scindia’s candidature as state unit head. Late last year, Scindia was in the race for Chief Minister when the party won the Assembly election defeating the BJP. However, the then Congress President Rahul Gandhi named long-time Congress loyalist Nath for the top post.

However, Scindia earlier this year was handed over the responsibility of Uttar Pradesh West in-charge ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

By IANS Updated: Sep 04, 2019 10:51:42 pm