- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister dismissed infighting in state Congress
- Jyotiraditya Scindia wasn't made state Congress chief
- Mr Scindia had openly supported government's J&K move
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday dismissed the infighting in the various state units of the Congress as a norm that exists in all political parties. He also insisted that the situation in his own state - where Jyotiraditya Scindia is aiming for the party chief's post - is "not an issue". The Chief Minister, who has been handling the twin responsibilities of the state and the party since the Congress's victory in last year's assembly state election, said he is "very open to the idea" of Mr Scindia heading the party, as he feels "burdened".
Asked about the infighting in the party units of Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana, Mr Nath said, "It happens everywhere. It happens in every party that there are people, there are pulls and pushes".
Asked if all is well between him and Mr Scindia, and whether the latter would make a good party president, Mr Nath told NDTV: "He (Mr Scindia) has the experience, he has a team, why not? In fact, I am saying let there be anyone - please do it fast".
A close associate of Rahul Gandhi, Mr Scindia had been waiting for a plum post since the assembly elections. Failing to make it to the post of the Chief Minister or his deputy, he aimed for the post of the state party chief. But given Kamal Nath's skill of keeping the faction-ridden party together and delivering a victory, he was asked to handle both jobs.
The tussle over the party chief's post made headlines after Mr Scindia openly supported the government's move ending the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, deviating from the party's stand on the matter.
On the leadership issue, he invoked party chief Sonia Gandhi, saying only she can take a call on the matter. Last month, Mrs Gandhi met him and Kamal Nath separately to assess the situation.
Mr Scindia, meanwhile, indicated his unhappiness with the state's relief measures for flood-hit farmers and objected to a government survey on crop loss. He even appeared to supported a minister who alleged "outside interference" in government.
Today, Mr Nath brushed off the possibility of any difference on the matter.
"If he says we must do a survey, I myself say that we should do a re-survey. We did a survey. The monsoon did not stop, so it is natural that you want to do it again. There is nothing wrong with that," Mr Nath told NDTV.
As for "outside interference", he said there should be none and there is none.
Mr Scindia had said the allegations by state's minister Umang Singhar that former chief minister Digvijaya Singh was interfering in the state government were "serious". Kamal Nath, he said, should look into them and "nobody should interfere" in the functioning of the state government.