By Dr Mohammad Nazrul Bari
What happened in Madhya Pradesh was inevitable. The central leadership of the Congress must be blamed as the high command intentionally ignored the writings on the wall. They failed to understand the dynamics of politics in the 21st century. Today’s politics is not about Nehruvian idealism of standing tall when it comes to principles.
15 months old Kamal Nath government in MP was in regular news for the bad reasons. Top of them was that Jyotiraditya Scindia and his associates were not been given the rightful place in power-sharing. After 15 years of political exile, Congress, with the help of Scindia, came back to power in MP in 2018. But Kamal Nath, besides having the Chief Ministerial post, also bagged the President of Congress party in MP.
The defeat of Scindia in 2019 Lok Sabha election further put him in a vulnerable position in state politics. Endorsing scrapping of Article 370 and meeting with top leaders of the BJP, Scindia was already signalling for the big day. The news that Congress is planning to send Priyanka Gandhi and Digvijay Singh to Rajya Sabha from MP added fuel into the fire for Scindia shock exit from the grand old party Congress.
Rahul Gandhi, as Congress President started giving more importance to young Turks like Scindia, Pilot, and Deora. This infusion of young blood in the grand old party upset the old guards. The subsequent tussle and pressure within the party, Rahul had to appoint Ahmad Patel as treasurer of the Congress.
The old guard who felt alienated in the party got a patron in the form of Ahmad Patel. Kamalnath, Digvijay, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ashok Gahlot, Ghulam Nabi Azad and others became close to him.
Once the results of Vidhan Sabha came in Rajasthan and MP, Ahmad Patel managed top posts in The government in favour of his two favourites, Ashok Gahlot and Kamal Nath respectively. Kamalnath tried his best to prove himself as the competent administrator of the state and within a short period of time, he did some remarkable governance. Like some media published a report referring the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) in which it was stated that unemployment which reached up to 7% in December. 2018 dropped down to 4.2% on Sep. 2019 in MP under him.
Last week, there was an alarming bell but Congress leadership could not gauge the mood of the rebellious Scindia. Congress leadership even did not send any top leader for negotiation to mitigate the problem. Wish Congress will learn from its mistake of the past but I have little hope.
ḳhudā tujhe kisī tūfāñ se āshnā kar de
ki tere bahr kī maujoñ meñ iztirāb nahīñ
(God bring you acquainted with some storm! No billow in your sea break in foam)
Dr Mohammad Nazrul Bari is associated with the Department of History, Central University of Karnataka