Kamal Nath missing from poll buzz since December loss | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kamal Nath missing from poll buzz since December loss

By, Bhopal
Apr 13, 2024 06:34 PM IST

Former CM Kamal Nath, under whose leadership the party contested the December assembly polls, has missed key events during his party’s Lok Sabha campaign

Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, under whose leadership the party contested the December assembly polls, has missed key events during his party’s Lok Sabha campaign in the state, although party leaders said he is focussed on the election of his son and the Congress’s only sitting MP in the state, Nakul Nath.

Chhindwara, Mar 26 (ANI): Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath with his son and party leader Nakul Nath at Badi Mata Temple (Nakul Nath-X)
Chhindwara, Mar 26 (ANI): Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath with his son and party leader Nakul Nath at Badi Mata Temple (Nakul Nath-X)

Kamal Nath himself suggested that he could play a more active role in the campaign after April 19. Between June 2018 and December 2023, Kamal Nath held key positions – state party president and chief minister, then leader of the opposition. In the 2023 assembly elections fought under his leadership, the Congress won only 66 of the 230 seats in the state. After the elections, he was replaced with Jitu Patwari as state party president.

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Kamal Nath did not attend Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s two rallies in Shahdol and Seoni on April 8; he was also missing from Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo rally in Dhar on March 8. And on Wednesday, he missed the party’s press conference on its manifesto in Bhopal.

Also Read | Kamal Nath claims 'game of deceit' after exit of Chhindwara aides; BJP reacts

A senior party leader, who asked not to be named, said Kamal Nath has not attended any party meetings in Bhopal in the past two months.

A second leader said Nath did not participate actively in the selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha seats in the state and merely sought a ticket for his son. And amidst all this, in February, rumours swirled that he was joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A leader close to Kamal Nath said he is addressing four to five meetings in his son’s Lok Sabha constituency, Chhindwara, every day; the BJP candidate there is Vivek Bunty Sahu.

Patwari confirmed that Kamal Nath is busy with programmes in Chhindwara. Kamal Nath himself said he will not travel anywhere till the election in Chhindwara (in first phase on April 19) is over. “Chhindwara is my home and I have a 45-year-old relationship with the city and its people. I have said many times that I will serve the people of Chhindwara till my last breath. I am meeting my family members and will not go anywhere till the Lok Sabha election here is over,” he added.

The leader close to Kamal Nath added the BJP has focused its efforts on the constituency and that some of the latter’s close aides such as tribal leader Kamlesh Shah have joined that party.

Chief minister Mohan Yadav has held at least four rallies in Chhindwara and state cabinet ministers, Prahlad Patel and Kailash Vijayvargiya, are based there for the polls. Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also held a rally in the constituency focused on women voters.

“Winning Chhindwara is a prestige issue for him,” the leader close to Kamal Nath said. The BJP has won the seat only once since 1952. Congress MLA Vijay Chaure said Nakul Nath will win comfortably.

A third Congress leader claimed that as of now, Kamal Nath has not shown any willingness to attend any political rally after April 19. “After he was removed from the post of state president on December 16, he started withdrawing himself from state politics,” the leader said, seeking anonymity.

Vijayvargiya said in Chhindwara that Nakul Nath was losing ground and Kamal Nath is making all efforts to ensure his win. “(PM Narendra) Modi ji’s storm is blowing.” BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal said after the Congress’s loss in the assembly polls, the party sidelined Kamal Nath.

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