DINNER DIPLOMACY’ USED TO PROJECT JYOTIRADITYA SCINDIA
A dinner hosted by a MP Minister has caused a sort of political storm in the state. Dinner was hosted by Govind Singh Rajput, who is regarded as a committed follower of Jyotiraditya Scindia. Though Rajput invited all the Ministers including Chief Minister Kamal Nath but many Ministers including Chief Minister did not turn up. This fact converted dinner into a factional event.
Rajput said that the dinner is being held to mark the new year and has nothing to do with ‘dinner diplomacy’ as it is being stated in a section of the state media.
Talking to reporters at the state assembly Rajput said that they are happy that Jyotiraditya Scindia will participate in the dinner where all ministers, CM and MLAs supporting the government will be present. “There is no politics involved in the dinner” he said.
Besides dinner and visit to PCC office Scindia attended to some personal engagements. He had similar itinerary when he visited the city on July 10-11 last year. Then health Minister Tulsi Silawat had hosted the dinner in which chief minister, ministers and MLAs supporting the government took part. During that time Scindia camp had openly complained of being ‘neglected’.
Silawat had said then that the dinner was held to show unity in Congress and to dispel the notion propagated by BJP that this government won’t survive. The political situation remains more or less the same, except for the fact Kamal Nath government seems far more stable and confident now, but issues like PCC chief and Scindia’s nomination to the Upper House in the election slated in April are still on top of the agenda for the state party leadership.
Whatever Rajput may say both dinner and Scindia’s visit to PCC office are regarded as show of strength aimed at projecting Scindia as the most suitable candidate for the post of PCC President. At present Kamal Nath is holding the charge of both Chief Minister and PCC chief. But there are strong forces in the state Congress who do not want Scindia to become PCC chief.
In a bid to demonstrate his strength thousands of Scindia supporters reached the PCC office in Bhopal and gave warm welcome to him. The over enthusiastic supporters broke the door to meet the leader. The supporters or the fans showered rose petals on the leader and raised the slogan to appoint him as PCC president. Some of them demanded to give him the Rajya Sabha ticket.
“I am not a politician, I am a Jansevak”, said the senior Congress leader while talking to media.
Some of the supporters pulled out the door and entered the hall where Scindia was sitting. Scindia calmed downed the supporters and asked them to come one by one to meet him.
While talking to media about the meeting with the AICC national president Sonia Gandhi, he stated “In December 2018, I decided to mould myself as a Jansewak, not as a politician. I am not in the race for any post (PCC president and member of Rajya Sabha).
He informed about his motive to visit the PCC office and meeting with the workers, “In MP the voice of common people, workers and supporters should be heard. Whenever I come to Bhopal, I always try to meet the party people”, he said.
Worker’s agony against the government was also discussed. “Government should hear the appeal of the workers” he said.
Not only Congress even the BJP is also facing serious difficulty in choosing its state president. The term of present incumbent Rakesh Singh is already over. For the post of state chief the intense lobbying between senior leaders have exposed the deep divide during the all member meeting convened at the party’s headquarter on Friday. The present party leadership is seen as unable to infuse new ideas and life to the organisation and mobilise the workers against a ‘fragile’ Kamal Nath Congress government which has gone from strength to strength over the year say sources.
The BJP is gearing to spring up a surprise as the high command has decided to declare the name of the new president instead of conducting organisational elections.
In a late night development senior leaders of the party were summoned to Delhi. Speculations are rife that it would be difficult for the present chief Rakesh Singh to retain the post again. “Name of Rakesh Singh as the next state BJP chief has hit wall after the national leadership received vey poor feedback about the state unit’s role in the continuing awareness drive on CAA, seminars at booth-level committees and slack performance of the state office-bearers” said a BJP state functionary pleading anonymity.
The meeting was attended by only 35 MLAs and a thin presence of 150 members against more than 300 invited. Those who addressed the workers included former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Rajya Sabha member Prabhat Jha, leader of opposition (LoP) Gopal Bhargava, chief whip Narottam Mishra and Suhas Bhagat apart from Rakesh Singh. The leaders discussed and chalked out a strategy on CAA awareness campaign.