Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and his son Nakul Nath have both filed their nominations for the Chhindwara Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha constituency together and followed it up with a four-kilometre roadshow in their bastion of Chindwara. The Congress has fielded 44-year-old Nakul Nath from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency, represented by his father Kamal Nath for a record nine times since 1980.
But the focus was on the series of Income Tax department raids on opposition parties and specifically the raids in Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh in which a close aide of Kamal Nath was raided.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the raids to target the Congress party. "Those who call me a thief have been caught with a huge stash of currency notes. Can you trust them," the Prime Minister said.
Kamal Nath responded by saying, "They are thinking of how they can put me down. For the last two or three days they have been attempting it. Nobody has been able to put me down in 40 years of politics. I want to tell Modiji to keep trying. I want to tell the people of Chindwara, I will never do anything that will make you bow your heads in shame."
The Income Tax department in a statement said that they had found a well organised racket that collected 281 crore of unaccounted cash in Bhopal and Indore and that a part of that cash was transferred to the headquarters of a political party from the residence of a senior functionary. The department also said it has found diaries and excel sheets to corroborate its findings.
Congress supporters claim the raids were conducted at the behest of the BJP and the I-T department was taking orders from the BJP. "Modi is worried during this election as he can see a Kamal Nath wave in Madhya Pradesh," a supporter told NDTV.
For Kamal and Nakul Nath however, this was a moment of history. Nakul's father has held this seat since 1980 and lost only once. This time father and son are contesting from the Chindwara Assembly seat and Lok Sabha seat. Making an appeal to voter, the 44-year-old said, "I may be new to politics but don't forget I have 40-year-old relationship with you. In 1980 Kamal Nath started the journey of Chindwara's development. In 2019 I will start a new journey for Chindwara's development."
Kamal Nath, however, asked the constituents to be demanding with their Member of Parliament.
"He is not your leader. He is your son. Hold on to him. He is new to politics. And if doesn't do your work, rip off his clothes," Kamal Nath said.