Congress infighting at play in Madhya Pradesh as All eyes are on RS polls
   05-Mar-2020

MP congress crisis_1 
 
Internal rivalries have come to the fore in Madhya Pradesh Congress chiefly over oneupmanship between Digvijaya Singh and arch detractor Jyotiraditya Scindia threatening the stability of the Kamal Nath-led regime.
 
Much to the discomfort of Congress, which had returned to power in the central Indian state in 2018 after 15 years of political hibernation, has come in the run up to the elections for three Rajya Sabha seats. The Congress has accused the BJP of holding some of its MLAs 'captive' - a charge denied by the saffron party leaders.
 
"The crisis may be over as we have reports of some legislators returning to Congress fold, but the rivalry between Congress factions is a permanent feature. It may leave an adverse impact in Rajya Sabha polls," a source said.
 
Dismissing the charges of trying horse trading from Digvijaya Singh, former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the Congress veteran is up to some "tricks" and trying to build up a pressure on the Chief Minister.
 
The BJP has 107 seats in the 230-member House. At present the effective strength of the assembly is 228 and Congress has a wafer thin majority with mere 114 MLAs and has the support of four Independents, two BSP members and one Samajwadi Party.
 
As of now, the Congress is likely to win two seats but some hobnobbing between disgruntled Congress legislators and the BJP could upset the apple cart and the saffron party may be able to snatch the crucial seat. The entire trouble is linked to these.
 
However, generally it is given to understand that though Nath is a local heavy weight and knows how to brave through political challenges. But the stability of his dispensation is largely dependent of two power centres --- the factions led by Digvijaya Singh and Scindia.
 
Madhya Pradesh forest minister Umang Singhar, a known opponent of Digvijaya Singh, also dubbed the attempts to "topple" the Kamal Nath government as an insider job. So much of infighting is in the Congress that Nath is continuing as the state unit president as the party did not have the courage to enforce the change in party presidentship.
 
Both Scindia and Digvijaya Singh, who has fallen from grace in Rahul Gandhi's perspective after Goa debacle in 2017, have lost in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Scindia is keen to enter the Upper House while Digvijaya Singh wants to hold on despite the fact that his term ends by third week of March.