- Scindia should be party's main face for Madhya Pradesh polls: Kamal Nath
- Gandhis have been choosing between Scindia and Kamal Nath
- Madhya Pradesh to vote next year, BJP in power since 2003
Kamal Nath, 70, is seen as a contender for that post himself, given his vast popularity (he has been elected nine consecutive times from the constituency of Chhindawara) and his experience. For months, the Congress' top leadership -- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi -- have dithered over choosing between the veteran and Mr Scindia, who is 46 years old, belongs to the former royal family of Gwalior, and is a close aide of Mr Gandhi.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambram said today that the party has not yet cast its vote.
In an interview with ndtv.com last month, Kamal Nath refuted reports of him threatening to leave the Congress to join the BJP if he is not given a shot at running for Chief Minister, which many believe is his dream job. "I have no problem with Jyotiraditya Scindia if he's made MPCC chief," he said when asked about who will be picked as chief of the Congress in the state and therefore run the election. "I would welcome it and work with him and support him."
In the election in Punjab earlier this year, Captain Amarinder Singh had to virtually coerce the Congress into declaring him as its Chief Ministerial candidate. He went on to win the election, supplying the party with one of its rare electoral triumphs in recent years.
His success has been cited by Congress leaders as proof that the party stands a better chance when it makes clear to voters who it is offering as head of the government.