Cong campaign in MP needs a face in this personality-oriented age: Jyotiraditya
Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia spells out the party’s campaign strategy in an interview with HT on the eve of the farmer meet.india Updated: Jul 09, 2017 23:26 IST
With just 16-odd months left for the 2018 assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the united front being projected by the state’s Congress leadership is expected to be visible at the Lahaar Kisan Sammelan in Bhind on Monday. Senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia spells out the party’s campaign strategy in an interview with HT’s Punya Priya Mitra on the eve of the farmer meet. Excerpts:
Q: The ‘Dabra’ sprit of 1993 – when the late Madhav Rao Scindia called a conclave in Dabra town to bury differences between top leaders – seems to be in the air.
A: I think it is something we must not only portray but also engender and inculcate. Only through this spirit can we change the party’s position in the state.
Q: Are you all consciously working towards it, or are you just hoping that something will happen?
A: All of us know that we have to put aside our own agendas and come together on a common platform, and that’s what you will see in the rally tomorrow. You may have seen everyone with me during the satyagraha in Bhopal. That unity is coming about now. It is not something that’s being orchestrated, it is something that is being felt internally.
Q: Do you think there should be a face to the Congress’ 2018 election campaign?
A: I absolutely think so, and I also think that should be the case across every state in India – with some exceptions. I think you need to position yourself, because today every election has become personality-oriented. The Congress has to put its best person forward to lead the party in a united manner, and a very clear diktat has to be given to every single future leader in this regard.
Q: And the person who is leading the campaign should be the natural choice for the chief minister’s post?
A: The short answer to that is, of course, yes. But the long answer to that is: Let us first come to a position where we can form the government. Too often, the person who leads the party only thinks about the chair and forgets the party.
Q: Don’t you think this is a shift from the traditional Congress policy?
A: Well, I think that the party must change with the times. You cannot be stuck in a mould. You have to move with the times.
Q: The CM says opium smugglers are behind the recent farmers’ agitation. What are your views on that?
A: The chief minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) sees a plot behind everything. He initially said that the Congress is behind it, and now he says opium farmers are responsible. Tell me, why are farmers committing suicide across the state? Why are they crying for loan waivers? My question to the chief minister is: why have 21,000 farmers committed suicide in the last 13 years if there was no agrarian crisis? Why is the state not announcing a loan waiver even when other BJP-ruled states have done it?