Kamal Nath reaches Delhi amid speculation of joining BJP; Cong terms it baseless | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Kamal Nath in Delhi amid BJP switch buzz; Congress says speculation ‘baseless’

Feb 17, 2024 07:15 PM IST

Kamal Nath did not confirm or deny buzz about joining BJP, only heightening the speculation about him leaving the Congress.

Bhopal: Kamal Nath, Senior Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, on Friday reached New Delhi along with son and MP Nakul Nath amid speculation that he could switch to the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath (File Photo)
Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath (File Photo)

The rumours turned rife after his son dropped Congress from his bio on social media. The bio of Nakul Kamal Nath on X now identifies him only as a Member of Parliament, Chhindwara (MP).

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Kamal Nath did not confirm or deny to the media about him joining the BJP. “It is not about denying, you people are getting excited. If something like this happens, I will inform you all first,” he said.

'Kamal Nath may join BJP on Sunday'

A senior BJP leader in MP, however, did not rule out the possibility of the father-son duo joining the party. “The talk with senior leaders like Union home minister Amit Shah, and national president JP Nadda is going on. If all goes well, he (Kamal Nath) will join the BJP on Sunday in the presence of senior-most leaders,” the BJP leader, on condition of anonymity, said.

Also Read: In Delhi, Kamal Nath refuses to deny BJP switch rumours; Nakul Nath drops Congress from X bio

He claimed that there were a few issues to be dealt with, for which Kamal Nath had gone to Delhi. His close aides also refused to confirm whether he was joining the BJP.

Sajjan Singh Verma, a senior Congress leader and Nath’s close associate, told reporters he had spoken to him on Friday. “He had felt extremely hurt over some issue in Congress, which I cannot speak about. A person does politics for honour and self-respect. He has gone to Delhi to meet senior leaders,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“I have been associated with Nath for the past 40 years. He is my leader. Wherever he will go, I will go with them,” Verma said.

Digvijay denies rumours

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh ruled out the possibility of Nath joining the BJP. “I spoke to him last night and he did not indicate anything like it.”

Singh added that Nath began his political career with the Congress party and had been with the Gandhi family all along even during Janata Party time.

It was also rumoured that Nath met and spoke with a few BJP leaders ever since the party’s high command expressed its “annoyance” with him over the Congress’s defeat in the December 2023 MP state assembly elections.

The BJP retained power winning 163 seats in the 230-member House. The Congress managed to win just 66 seats.

Also Read: BJP state chief fuels ‘Kamal Nath quitting Congress’ buzz with open offer

The Congress was expecting to win big but lost badly against the ruling BJP and many state party leaders blamed Nath for the loss. Subsequently, Nath was removed as state party president and his nominee was not considered for leader of the opposition in the state assembly position.

“He was trying to get the Rajya Sabha seat from MP but the party chose senior leader Ashok Singh, a close aide of Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh. A day before the Rajya Sabha nomination on February 13, Nath hosted a dinner for all Congress leaders. After the announcement of Ashok Singh’s name, Nath was unhappy,” said a Congress leader.

Verma, who also removed Congress from his social media profile, said Nath was hurt over the denial of his Rajya Sabha nomination.

MP Congress president Jitu Patwari, who replaced Nath, called the rumours of Nath joining the BJP as “baseless”. Patwari recalled how former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had described Nath as her “third son” as he dismissed the speculation that the party veteran may jump ship to join the BJP.

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    She is a senior reporter based at Bhopal. She covers higher education, social issues, youth affairs, woman and child development related issues, sports and business & industries.

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