Congress Bracing For Another Jolt? Big Buzz Over Kamal Nath Switchover


Kamal Nath has represented Chhindwara nine times in Lok Sabha. (File)

Bhopal:

There’s a strong buzz that Kamal Nath may switch to the BJP in a fresh jolt to the Congress ahead of the national elections, with sources close to him telling NDTV that he is “unhappy” with the party.

The former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister arrived in Delhi on Saturday, adding fuel to the speculations. But he hasn’t met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah and has only heard BJP state leaders like VD Sharma saying he is welcome to join their party, sources said.

The people in Chhindwara – which Mr Nath has represented nine times in Lok Sabha – want him to join the BJP to ensure better development and the matter is under his consideration, sources said.

The constituency is now represented by Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Nath, who is also being speculated to join the BJP along with his father. Nakul Nath had removed ‘Congress’ from his social media bio, leading to the mega crossover buzz yesterday, but sources said his bio never mentioned the party’s name.

Kamal Nath’s Delhi trip comes at a time BJP is holding a two-day national council, being attended by top leaders from across the country.

Read | Can Indiraji’s “Third Son” Ever Leave Party? Congress Leader On Kamal Nath

He hasn’t resigned from Congress, but feels the party isn’t the same that he had joined five decades ago and has conveyed his unhappiness to the leadership, the sources said.

“He feels that Rahul Gandhi is busy with the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra and the party is now being run by the likes of senior leaders Jairam Ramesh, KC Venugopal, and Randeep Surjewala,” the sources said.

They also ruled out that his unhappiness was over not being nominated to the Rajya Sabha, and said senior leader Digvijaya Singh had requested him not to leave the party.

The Congress has denied reports that Mr Nath will end his long association with the party, stressing that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had called him her “third son” while campaigning for him in 1979.

“Can you think even in a dream that Indira Gandhi’s ‘third son’ will quit the Congress? Can he think of leaving the workers who fought the Assembly elections under his leadership and worked tirelessly to try and make him the chief minister,” said Jitu Patwari, who had replaced him as the state Congress chief after the party’s election setback last year.

Kamal Nath’s switchover would deliver a major blow to the Congress ahead of the national elections. The grand old party is already reeling from a string of high-profile exits, the latest being former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, who joined the BJP earlier this week.

Mr Nath’s exit will leave the party vulnerable in Madhya Pradesh, where the Congress had won just one seat in 2019 elections.

His former colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia, now a Union Minister, had crossed over to the BJP after a mega revolt that had brought down the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh in 2020.


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