Rahul's balancing act: Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia at helm

Ahead of Assembly elections Congress appoints Kamal Nath its Madhya Pradesh party chief

Congress leader Kamal Nath | AFP

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has placed his bets on veteran Kamal Nath to win back Madhya Pradesh while naming a younger Jyotiraditya Scindia as the party's campaign chief in the poll-bound state.

"I congratulate friend Kamal Nath for becoming the president of MP Congress", tweeted Chouhan after the official announcement by the main Opposition party.

Kamal Nath said his name was selected after party President Rahul Gandhi held "wide discussions with the leaders of Madhya Pradesh" and after a meeting with him, former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh and party MP Jyotiraditya Scindia.

To bolster the party's organizational strength in the state, it also appointed four new working presidents of the Madhya Pradesh state unit, which includes Bala Bachchan, Ramnivas Rawat, Jitu Patwari and Surender Chaudhary.

The appointments come a few months before the state assembly elections, where the Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP. Scindia, 47, has been made head of the state party's campaign committee. He said Congress leaders were aware that Scindia could not run the party in the state.

Kamal Nath, on the other hand, is a nine-time MP from Chhindwara and a former Parliamentary Affairs Minister during the UPA regime.

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"Both Nath and Scindia gel well. Nath had also openly supported Scindia's candidature for the chief ministerial post on various occasions", the senior leader said. "It's a large and complex state, and a united effort by all the leaders would make the party successful".

There have been talks of internal factionalism in the party and its workers are said to be divided among four factions - headed by general secretary Digvijay Singh, Nath, Scindia and Suresh Pachori.

Asked his view on his not being a pan-Madhya Pradesh leader like current Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, he said that this is something which the people of the state will decide.

This move comes after BJP appointed Rakesh Singh as President of the Madhya Pradesh unit last week.

Soon after his appointment, Nath assured to work with full dedication to defeat the "non-secular parties".

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